International Journal of Design Computing vol:6 pages:12p
During design architects do not only sketch, they combine different kinds of information and representations. The combination of text, image, sketch and/or draft can provoke new associations that keep the design process going. The sketchbook presented here enables architects to use all representations simultaneously, so as to fully exploit their cross-fertilisation. More importantly, it steadily makes suggestions for continuing development of design ideas. These suggestions can take the form of words that are semantically related to the users’ ideas, or of images showing how other architects have developed related ideas into built artefacts.
To this end, the sketchbook captures all information the architect/user puts ‘on paper’ and forwards it to a design idea recorder/interpreter called Idea Space System (ISS). In trying to understand the user’s ideas, ISS places all elements captured into a gigantic network, as if part of the frame of reference is made explicit. In the network nodes are words, sketches or images, while links represent relations of various origins. The semantic relations that ISS identifies are shown to the user. At the same time, words are processed as search criteria in DYNAMO, a growing architectural case base, to detect and display design projects that exemplify related ideas.
Through the explicit links between early ideas and concrete design cases, the sketchbook acts as a permanent source of inspiration, while stimulating both architects’ creativity and their awareness of the downstream implications of design ideas.