Galle P, 1994, "Computer support of architectural sketch design: a matter of simplicity?" Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 21(3) 353 – 372
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Computer support of architectural sketch design: a matter of simplicity?
Received 13 November 1992; in revised form 21 May 1993
Abstract. Computer support of architectural sketch design persistently remains a topic of research, rather than a reality of practice. The inherent complexity of creative design may be one reason; the alienation of designers by technology another. The author suggests that to avoid alienation we should develop small, affordable systems, as simple and natural to use as ordinary word processors. An attempt in that direction is the MacAlex system, currently under development as part of a project with the aim of investigating how formalized Alexander patterns could be utilized in knowledge-based computer support of sketch design. The paper is a description of an initial user-interface design for MacAlex and its implementation as an empty-shell prototype. On that background, conditions are listed under which 'perceived simplicity' of sketch design systems would seem reconcilable with their nontrivial functionality.
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