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In early stages of design architects often use sketching and diagramming to perform formal and functional reasoning. Design sketches are an external representation aid for visualization and evaluation of the spatial arrangements of artifacts. Symbols and configurations are used in design sketches to define context and object arrangements. This paper argues the need to study design drawing, reports the findings from empirical studies of design drawings, and describes the software systems implemented to support intention inference and automated activation of knowledge-based design tools to support design.