The Potentials of Transparency in Sketch Design Interfaces

Example sketch
Illustration: Portrait of David Puttnam drawn over a live video image of the director using a 'splattery' sketching pen.

This research attempts to determine the potential uses of computer mediated sketch design to the architect. Applying a phenomenological critique to both the computer and the sketch, their nature has been studied in ways other than the prevalent rationalist thinking. This study lends new significance to the occasional adoption of transparency by various computing disciplines. Furthermore, the appreciation gained can be used to tie these instances into a coherent approach to the creation of design software. A simple extension to the Macintosh interface grounded in transparency has been created as the basis for new architectural design media. The intention is not only to reduce the barriers between back-of-the-envelope sketches and CAAD modelling, but also to promote a work process conducive to good design.

This work was carried out at the Martin Centre CADLAB and funded by the EPSRC.

Publications so far:

  • The Computer's Role in Sketch Design: A Transparent Sketching Medium PDF 413K

Michael Trinder, 2000

[the Martin Centre CADLAB]