Talk about menories....we're kindred spirits of a sort. I grew up on the board. My orginal training and start in the "design" industry was in Architecture too. I remember my mentors complimenting me on my good and imaginative designs, then slamming me for my poor drafting skills. Line weight uneven, smudges from using too soft a lead, I think I might have gone through six eraser dust bags in two months cleaning up my velliums.
Your point is rather clear and I totally agree with it. If you don't have design skills and 3D reasoning capabilty CAD isn't going to help. Murphy's Rule #7 To err is human, to really screw it up takes a computer.
As in my other post, my positions the past thirty years have been to help orgainzations apply computer technology efficently and effectively. The problem I continually see in that mission has been an unequal balance between the two. Most of the time I'm called in after the fact to fix the deployment mess that was created becuase they wanted to go from A straight to Z with the least amount of money, time, etc. (i.e., efficency --at least supposed financial efficency).
The trouble with that is, organinzations and people don't work like that. Its not like the MATRIX where you can download 20 years of knowledge and skill into an organinzation or a person from a floppy disk. Yet organizations persist in a mindset of If I buy the tool, install it so it turns on the lights and prints ink I have a modern engineering organinzation.
I watch today as many mondern corporations are still struggling with applying technology. In applying I mean more than just dropping a box on some desk or a network in a department. Integrating I.T. into a business or a way of doing work takes time. Tiime to internalize how to use the tools to accomplish the tasks at hand. Like old drafting tools, CAD can be an electric pencil, eraser, and slide rule all in one. However, it can't replace the design skils which are gained over years, those heuristics take time to develop. We continue to lean of the science and math model of engineering, because that are the tools that are taught in school.
What we forget is that there is, as you point out, an art side to engineering. Design is a creative endeavor, not a math formula. Even in math there is some amount of are, remember how much fun Calculus was until you got it was not a simple answer but an approach to finding answers.
In the end its not CAD but ourselves placing too much or buying into the hype of vendors to make a magic button that does engineering and design. PEOPLE perform aka practice engineering, not machines.