We are frequently told by its exponents that computer-aided design (CAD) liberates designers and gives them new ways of envisioning their work, but is this really true? CAD in architecture is examined to see to what extent it has enhanced creativity in design. This is partly done by applying a test of creativity advanced by contemporary architect Herman Hertzberger. In this analysis, CAD is found somewhat wanting, and some suggestions are made as to why this might be so.

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Author notes

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the third Creativity and Cognition Conference, Loughborough University, U.K., 10-13 October 1999, and published in the Proceedings (New York: ACM Press, 1999; ISBN: 1-58113-078-3).