When defining the concept of 'metaphor' as 'an intuitive abstraction of uniqueness in diversities', Aristoteles also creates a common-sense in comprehending analogy-based design processes. Therefore, as in all design practices, drawing analogies - with/to/between- by generating metaphors is also an important tuition for learners/students in architectural design education. Starting from the question of 'how a designer's initial concept is transformed into an architectural product', this study generates a discussion on architectural thinking and designing practices based on analogies, aiming at creating perspectives with regard to architectural design education which primarily intends to improve students' designing abilities by providing the sustainability of current environmental data through the subsequent designs. In this education, the students are firstly directed to reveal metaphors in their specific studying areas by gathering inspiration from directly formal and physical environmental data or from indirectly informal and contextual data; and secondly expected to transform analogies into spatial decisions with architectural programs. In this sense, this study is methodologically carried out in two sections. The first part analyses the stages of the process that lead students from concept to product in the education of architectural design by emphasizing the relational potential of design by considering analogies/metaphors. In the second section, six student studies/products selected from design education studios are appraised in context of the metaphors they captured in their study areas and the analogies they created or in other words, the reasons they asked for to design-. Among the consequences of the study are the inferences to be made on how to transform design practices, in which the students interrelates between environmental data, into architectural products. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.