Models in architectural design

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Whereas architects and construction specialists used to rely mainly on sketches and physical models as representations of their own cognitive design models, they rely now more and more on computer models. Parametric models, generative models, as-built models, building information models (BIM), and so forth, they are used daily by any practitioner in architectural design and construction. Although processes of abstraction and the actual architectural model-based reasoning itself of course remains occurring in the mind of the practitioner who is in control of the design and construction process, this whole new array of alternative computer-based representation models has its impact on decision-making in architectural design and construction. In this chapter, a brief overview is first given of the state of the art in design thinking research. Second, an outline is given of the ways in which diverse data models, such as building information models (BIM) and parametric models, are currently used in architectural design and construction. An indication is then given of how this relates to the in-mind model-based reasoning on which architectural designers and construction experts rely in decision making and creative thinking. This outline will not only rely on well-known theories of design thinking and architectural design practice, it will also rely on ongoing theoretical research about analogical reasoning and about abductive, deductive and inductive reasoning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Handbook of Model-Based Science
EditorsLorenzo Magnani, Tommaso Bertolotti
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-30525-7
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

ugent:id 6890369 ugent:classification B2


  • model-based reasoning BIM construction architectural design design thinking analogical reasoning abductive reasoning
  • Architectural Designer
  • Design Thinking
  • Building Information Model
  • Analogical Reasoning
  • Semantic Structure


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