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Many architects rely upon a sense of common practise and a routine reworking of the same set of slowly evolving icons married to site, programme and available technology to generate design solutions. The paper discusses an experimental, computer-assisted approach to architectural design and assesses its applicability to mainstream architectural practise. The process illustrated deals with the observation of latent, place-specific phenomena and their effects, and the reconfiguring of these through their transposition to other mediums, into underpinning rationales for architecture. We highlight the experimental use of digital technologies to reveal elaborate matrixes of hidden relationships present in the mundane and unremarkable, and discuss the fostering of unexpected non-linear connections between these, to produce design proposals defined by the subliminal effect relationships observed. The paper conjectures upon the further development of this approach in relation to current software capability and interoperability, and we consider the implications for its wider adoption by the architectural profession as a design tool and its potential impact upon traditional modes of working practise.