I am doing a research on the use of computers in the design of buildings that have complex geometries, such as the Guggenheim Museum. Do computers aid in the analysing of the structure during the design phase?
Computers in architectural design
They can aid - both in design & afterwards. Complex geometries clash with complex substructures. From an engineering standpoint - there is a software created by a firm called TEKLA (originally finnish company), used for both structural analysis and generating drawings used for production. Haven't used it myself, but have sort of checked it out, after speaking the TEKLA tech rep. He mentioned that is used by Gehry as part of their overall strategy. It is however, a bit pricey for a smaller firm and hasp key dependent. They do have a demo CD........