Hand on hand


Cad versus Sketching. Why Ask?

James Self.



Image Courtesy of Michael DiTullo

Of course, when used to support design activity, both sketching and CAD tools have the ability to complement one another in a process that has at its heart the representation and communication of design intent. Rather than limiting the use of a given tool, design education must provide opportunities for students to consider the relationship between their use of a given tool, the tool’s possible influence on their own design activity and how tool use is located within and informed by the wider requirements and responsibilities of the design process. Much criticism has been leveled at the inability of CAD to support the kinds of explorative design activity required for conceptualisation. There can be no doubt that the tool-in-hand has an influence on the character of the design representation. However, it is also true that a tool is only a tool insofar as it is used as such by the tool-user. In turn, the user is motivated by their own perception of the purpose of tool use. For students to make best use of the availability of an ever-increasing variety of conventional, digital and hybrid design tools, they require an understanding of tool use within a context of the dynamic requirements of the process of industrial design.

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