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26 MARCH 2013

Drawing as a conversation which prompts new imaginings

"Perception of external sources of inspiration prompts new imaginings. Research on the role of externalisations in design thinking has concentrated on the role of sketching[14]. Schön[15] has shown that for many architects, sketching is an essential part of creative design, and creation is driven by making and perceiving sketches; Schön characterises design as an interactive conversation between mind and sketch. Designers directly appreciate different types of information in their own sketches[16], alternating between seeing that and seeing as[17]. Ambiguity in sketches facilitates reinterpretation triggered by dissatisfaction with the current design[18]. For designers who make active use of sources of inspiration in designing, they play a similar role to designers' own sketches."

(Claudia Eckerta, Martin Stacey, p.526, 2000, Design Studies)

[14] Purcell, A T and Gero, J S 'Drawings and the design process' Design Studies Vol 19 (1998) pp 389–430
[15] Schön, D A The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action Basic Books, New York (1983)
[16] Schön, D A and Wiggins, G 'Kinds of seeing and their functions in designing' Design Studies Vol 13 (1992) pp 135–156 [17] Gabriela Goldschmidt 'The dialectics of sketching' Creativity Research Journal Vol 4 (1991) pp 123–143 [–E2010/files/2010/10/goldsmidt_dialectics_paper.pdf]
[18] McFadzean, J, Cross, N G and Johnson, J H 'Notation and Cognition in Conceptual Sketching' in Proceedings, VR'99 Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design MIT Press, Cambridge MA (1999)

Claudia Eckerta, Martin Stacey (2000). "Sources of inspiration: a language of design", Design Studies, Volume 21, Issue 5, September 2000, Pages 523–538


2000architectsClaudia Eckert • conceptual prompt • conversation with the situationcreative designcritical investigationdesign inspirationdesign languagedesign methodDesign Studies (journal)design thinkingdesigningDonald Schondoodlingdrawing • drawing experiments • drawing ideasdrawing studyimagining • inspiration prompts • interactive conversation • knitwear design • making sketches • Martin Stacey • new imaginings • reinterpretationseeing and doingseeing asseeing thatshared cultural referencesketchingsources of inspirationthinking through drawingthinking toolstriggering ideasvisual problem-solving • visual prompt • visual study


Simon Perkins
23 MARCH 2013

Exploration oriented design process: focussing on the interplay between designer, techniques and materials in design research

"My field of interest is what I will call an exploration oriented design process included in design research; a process focussing on the interplay between designer, techniques and materials. The role of the artefact is to act as a reflecting and responding means for pushing the research process forward to clarify what is possible and how, regarding the research question. A related example of such an approach to research is found at the research cluster Autonomatic (2009) at Falmouth College University, which do research that explores the use of digital manufacturing technologies in the creative process of designing and making three dimensional objects.

As a contrast, consider a problem oriented design process included in design research. That is, designing which, although research embedded, nevertheless aims at developing working prototypes or appearance models, just as ordinary professional design. An example is the Ph.D. project by Jonathan Allen discussed by Pedgley and Wormald (2007). The aim of Jonathan Allen's research was to advance the design of, and champion new approaches to designing, products for people with severe communication disabilities and physical impairment. During his project, he developed a fully working prototype communication device.

However, in the present paper I shall demonstrate that exploration oriented design can be fruitful as a design research method, because it is relieved from the usual obligation to fulfil a purpose of everyday use, solve problems or fulfil certain needs. As we shall see, the exploration oriented design process does not proceed as a series of isolated experiments, but rather as a cluster of parallel and interdependent experiments, which as a whole reflect the potential of the research question. I will argue that this approach turns design practice in which the design researcher is trained into an effective tool for design research."

(Flemming Tvede Hansen, p.99, 2009)

Hansen, Flemming Tvede. (2009). "A Search for Unpredictable Relationships". EKSIG 2009: Experiential Knowledge, Method & Methodology, Experiential Knowledge Special Interest Group.


2009 • appearance models • Autonomatic (research cluster) • communication device • communication disability • design practicedesign researchdesign research methodologydesign researcherdesign techniquesdesigningdesigning and making • digital manufacturing • digital manufacturing technologies • EKSIG • everyday use • exploration oriented design • exploration oriented design process • Falmouth College University • Flemming Tvede Hansen • fulfil needs • interdependent experiments • interplay between • isolated experiments • Jonathan Allen • new approaches to design • ordinary professional design • Owain Pedgley • parallel experiments • Paul Wormald • physical impairment • problem oriented design process • reflecting and responding • research process • role of the artefact • solving problemsthree dimensional objectsworking prototypes


Simon Perkins

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