A Qualitative Method for Assessing the Impact of ICT on the Architectural Design Process

Ganah, Abdulkadir orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9911-8505 and Kamara, John (2013) A Qualitative Method for Assessing the Impact of ICT on the Architectural Design Process. ALAM CIPTA, International Journal of Sustainable Tropical Design Research and Practice, 6 (1). pp. 25-35. ISSN 2289-3687

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During the last thirty years or so, we have witnessed tremendous developments in information and communication technology (ICT). Computer processing power doubles each 18 months, as Gordon Moore predicted during the mid-1960s. The computer and communications world has been revolutionised by the invention of the Internet. It has changed the way of exchanging, viewing, sharing, manipulating and storing the information. Other technologies such as smartphones, wearable computers, tablets, wireless communications and satellite communications have made the adoption of ICT easier and beneficial to all its users. ICT affects the productivity, performance and the competitive advantage of a business. It also impacts on the shape of the business process and its product. In architectural design, ICT is widely used throughout the design process and its final product. The aim of this research, therefore, is to explore the key implication of using ICT in architectural design and what new changes and forms have occurred on buildings as a result of ICT developments and use by architecture practitioners. To achieve this aim, a qualitative research approach was adopted using a narrative review of ICT usage in the design of buildings. The literature found was subjected to a thematic analysis of how ICT adoption affected the architectural design process. The findings of this research indicate that there is a continuous change in the design process and its final products (buildings) as the technology evolves. The framework proposed provides a foundation for gathering evidence from case studies of the impact of ICT adoption by architectural designers. The research proposes that future empirical work has to be conducted to test and refine the relevance, importance and applicability of each of the components of the framework, in order to detect the impact of ICT on the building design process and its final product.

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