This paper examines the meaning of information and communication technology (ICT) for architectural design in early design project phases, with a particular interest in building information modelling (BIM). Contemporary digital design environment, research context and objectives are first clarified, followed by the presentation and analysis of a few BIM-related projects. A key finding is that the architectural working environment, the design methods and the designer's roles have changed in the contemporary project context. Furthermore, other methods and tools are needed in addition to BIM in the early project phases, because it can not solve all required design aspects.