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A FRAMEWORK FOR EXPLORING THE ICT IMPACT ON THE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN PROCESS

A FRAMEWORK FOR EXPLORING THE ICT IMPACT ON THE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN PROCESS,Anita Moum

A FRAMEWORK FOR EXPLORING THE ICT IMPACT ON THE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN PROCESS   (Citations: 2)
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SUMMARY: The use of ICT has over the years in different ways influenced and to a certain degree also changed roles and processes within the building project. A better understanding and overview of how ICT affect on the complex mechanisms within the early stages of the planning process can be seen as central to achieve project success. This paper presents a framework for exploring the ICT impacts on the architectural design process, focusing on ICT benefits and challenges regarding four essential design process aspects: the generation of design solutions, the communication, the evaluation of design solutions and the decision-making. The framework is founded on the suggestion of three hierarchical building project levels, the micro (individual)-, meso (group)- and macro (overall)-level. Several benefits and challenges of ICT regarding the four architectural design process aspects are explored and the outline of an ICT impact matrix summarizes the key points of the exploration. Furthermore, the paper gives an example of how the framework could be applied to a real-life project for supporting the exploration of how ICT impact on the architectural design process in practice. A fundamental pillar of a successful building project is a good design process. The field of architectural design is complex, and the successful interplay between iterative and interdependent processes, roles and actions can be seen as a foundation for developing good architectural design solutions and building projects. Over the years, the development of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) has led to several changes in the AEC industry. The network technologies, advanced visualization tools and CAD (Computer Aided Design) are some examples of ICT, which represent powerful potential of facilitating change and improvement. The participants within the building design process face ICT related benefits and challenges on several levels. Both working processes and role definitions are affected (Berg von Linde, 2003, Sundell, 2003, Wikforss, 2003a and 2003b). Much research of today focuses on the development of new and improved ICT. The main topic of this paper however, is how the use and implementation of ICT today impact on central issues in the architectural design process. Special attention is hereby paid to how the implementation and use of ICT affect on the architect's work and interactions. A better overview and understanding of these issues can be valuable for ensuring good architectural design and management of building projects. This paper presents the outline of a framework for exploring the ICT impact on the architectural design process. The framework focuses on four essential aspects of the architectural design process: the generation of design solutions, the communication, the evaluation of design solutions and the decision-making. Furthermore, the framework is based on the suggestion of three hierarchical levels: the micro- (individual), meso- (group) and macro (overall)-level (Fig.2). These three levels and the four design aspects are the main components in an ICT impact matrix (Fig.1), which has been developed as a "tool" for summarizing the explored ICT-related benefits and challenges. In the first part of this paper, after a brief explanation of the framework and the motivations behind it, examples of contemporary research and literature regarding the ICT-related benefits and challenges within the four selected design process aspects of the framework will be explored. The ICT impact matrix summarizes the key- points of this exploration. In the part two of the paper, an example will be given to demonstrate how the framework and the ICT impact matrix could be used to explore and summarize the ICT impact on a real life project. This practical example is based on an interview with an architect involved in a housing estate project in
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