This paper reports on an ongoing student architectural design project that is investigating the differing effects of the use of PC's or Pens in the design process. We are interested to see whether designing wholly on the computer with a volume modelling software would produce differing results to a traditional design process with a strong basis in 2D sketching. To minimize the influence of the participants previous experience in either the use of PCis or the pen, we have been working with very young students that have not yet gone through a traditional training on architectural design and CAAD software. This is one of the key aspects of our experimental procedure. We have found that recent software developments in the field of CAAD clearly have and will influence the way architects design and brings the computer as a design tool to the “normal architect”. Until very recently the computer was seen as a design tool almost solely for “computer geeks” in the profession, the majority of architects still using it mainly as a drafting machine or to produce visualizations of their projects after a more “conventional” design process had finished. It is now very clear to us that the ongoing change in technology will have a profound effect on the way all of us will work in future undertaking architectural design. It is an important question for every school of architecture what effect these developments will have on our teaching methods and the curricula.  We use the above mentioned ongoing educational project to find out about the benefits and risks of using the computer as a design tool for first year students.