One of the most significant consequences of computerization in design practice is a spectacular increase in the amount and complexity of information produced for the specification, analysis and communication of design decisions and products. Computerization is intended to have a positive effect on such subjects but offers no built-in guarantees. The complexity, redundancy and amount of information that is generated on a variety of media has accentuated the problems of archiving, indexing and retrieving design documentation, either in the same project or in related ones. The shortcomings of visual information processing derive from a number of inherent problems: lack of integration in information carriers and kinds; organizational uncertainty, especially with respect to archiving and retrieval; superficial replication of analogue practices; limited understanding of information utility; chronic underestimates of automation potential coupled to overestimates of costs. A progressive improvement of design documentation should focus on: (1) the integration of information kinds and carriers in a single representation (in the direction of virtual prototyping); (2) correlation of information registration and processing with information utility; (3) structural rather than opportunistic or deterministic integration of utility requirements in design representations; (4) recognition of informatization and information management as a new specialization that complements existing roles in the design and management of the built environment.