Digital Design Approach in Architectural Studio Project. Case Study: University of Malaya (UM)

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Mohd Farizuda Rosli
Asrul Sani Razak
Nooradzman Abbas Ahmad
Nila Keumala
Mohammed H. Al Sabahi


In the past, while little construction documents exists, it is known that drawing and physical models are used to illustrate the intended building to be build. As the progress of computer started to kick-in in the early 1980's, architects adopt Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to automate their orthographic drawings which was before expressed manually using T-squares and pencils. Currently, the practice of architectural curriculum in Malaysia outlined by the Board of Architect of Malaysia is to teach the architecture students to use manual drawing in their first year of study and continues with the use of CAD in the following years. In the current development of computer technology, Building Information Modelling (BIM) seems to be slowly replacing the use of CAD in architectural education and practice. This pose a question whether these advancement of computer does help the architecture students for their design studio project. The aim of this study is to investigate the perception and effect of the use of computer on the architecture students’ performance. The study looks upon the perception of academician in Malaysia’s Public Universities (PU) on the development of computer and investigates the effect of the use of computer as a design tools on the performance of architecture students. Based on a series of interviews with six head of department of architecture schools and one lecturer-architect, the study investigates these academicians’ perception towards the development of BIM to the architectural curriculum. Next, using a case study from the architecture school of University of Malaya, based on a survey, the study divides the students into three category of design tool used by the students to produce their design product – manual, computer, and hybrid. The study compares each design tools with each student’s design studio grade. The study also compares the cost effectiveness of the usage for each design tools. From the interviews, all HODs from the interviews agrees that the development of computer and BIM is beneficial and inevitable to the architectural curriculum in Malaysia. From the survey, hybrid design tool – mixed of computer and manual drawings, are the better design tool in terms of cost effectiveness and students grades.

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Mohd Farizuda Rosli, Asrul Sani Razak, Nooradzman Abbas Ahmad, Nila Keumala, & Mohammed H. Al Sabahi. (2019). Digital Design Approach in Architectural Studio Project. Case Study: University of Malaya (UM). International Journal of Business and Social Development (IJBSD), 1(1), 1 - 14. Retrieved from