Ideation flexibility is the ability to shift between a designer’s preferred and non-preferred ways of generating solutions as required by the presented task. There are many tools that exist to support ideation; however, there is a lack of research defining how to facilitate ideation flexibility and how to support designers in this process through use of such tools. In this paper, we report on the development of a new tool, the "Incremental to Radical Heuristics" (I2Rh), which may provide inspiring prompts for ideation, ranging from more incremental to more radical examples. We tested the use of this I2Rh with a small set of industrial design and architecture students and aim to report on ways in which designers with varying cognitive styles perceive and apply these heuristics and further the impact of the heuristics on the students’ problem solving processes and ideation outcomes. Preliminary results demonstrate that more innovative students found the adaptive applications of the heuristics to trigger more novel solutions, whereas the more adaptive students found that the innovative applications to be more inspiring.
Ideation is critical as it allows designers to form many diverse ideas to choose from and eventually test and validate them (Sheppard, Macatangay et al. 2009). However, in many cases, designers find it difficult to come up with many diverse ideas as a result of fixation they experience on particular ideas (Crilly 2015). Being a flexible designer means being able to move from one solution to another, in order to produce the most promising solutions for the given context. In this movement, idea generation methods play a critical role as facilitators of this movement while pushing designers to think differently (Silk, Daly et al. 2014). The focus of the proposed work is ideation flexibility (Yilmaz, Daly et al. 2014), defined as the ability to ideate in both incremental and radical ways – or, more precisely, to ideate along a continuum of thinking between the two, depending on the needs of the problem. Building on the theoretical foundation of Kirton’s adaption-innovation theory (Kirton 1976), we defined the ideation success as a designer’s ability to move between his/her preferred and nonpreferred ways of generating ideas as required in the design brief. To specifically target ideation flexibility, we took an empirically-driven and validated ideation tool, Design Heuristics (Yilmaz, Seifert et al. 2016), and modified it based on the Kirton’s adaptiveinnovative theory. This revised set, called the "Incremental to Radical Heuristics" (I2Rh), illustrates heuristics’ application both incrementally and radically to the same example design problem. I2Rh is intended to help designers execute an ideation strategy based on prompts, examples, and directions to incorporate more incremental or more radical changes to their naturally preferred ways of generating ideas, through facilitating flexible thinking. Our goal in this paper was to investigate how designers with different cognitive styles perceive and apply these revised heuristics and their impact on the students’ ideation outcomes.
Despite the increased popularity of online tools for remote teamwork and meetings, moderated collaborative activities between multiple users in early conceptual design stages, such as brainstorming sessions, are yet not well supported. In this paper, we introduce All4One, a networked system that enables multiple remote users to participate in a moderated visual sketching session. Each participant can independently draw and share sketches using a tablet, and a moderator uses a set of tangible tools to arrange and manipulate sketches that are displayed in real-time on a whiteboard. We present our prototype in detail and the results from a workshop study simulating a brainstorming session with designers who tested the system in practice. Results show several usage patterns and the potential of All4One for use in early design stages, and the importance of the role of the moderator as the facilitator of the design process. The paper concludes by identifying weaknesses and strengths of the current system and possible directions for future work.
Solution-generation design behavior in general, and "reflection-in-action" in particular, can serve to differentiate designers, recognizing their personal reflecting when designing. In psychology, reflection is found a more robust tool to enhance task performance after feedback from a personal "device" that generates the process itself while interacting with visual representation. Differences among students' interior design processes appear in their solution-generation design behavior. A “think aloud” experiment identified solution-generation behavior profiles. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies showed how design characteristics unite, forming patterns of design behavior. A comprehensive picture of designers’ differences emerged.
The research aimed:
to identify individual design students’ solution-generation profiles based on design characteristics.
to show how reflection-in-action appearing in the profiles can serve to predict how novice designers learn and act when solving a design problem.
to enhance the uniqueness of reflection-in-action for designers as distinct from reflection in other fields.
Four distinct solution-generation profiles emerged, each showing a different type of reflective acts. Identifying reflection-in-action type can robustly predict how designers develop design solutions and help develop pedagogical concepts, strategies and tools.
Traditional craft has been relegated to the margins in modern culture, being perceived as out step with technological, economic and societal progress. However, emergent research is rediscovering the nature of craft and its potential for contributing to design practice in conjunction with developments in science and technology. Through the analyses of craft and sustainability, strong connections are revealed as well as some incompatibilities. The contribution of this paper is to a) map a systemic view of craft and b) establish a theoretical understanding of the relationship between craft and a holistic understanding of sustainability. Drawing on recent research that proposes three areas of leverage for sustainability, we argue that craft, as a system of making, knowing and being, has significant potential to contribute actively and tangibly to the transitional conditions, thereby serving as an agency for sustainable transformation.
The purpose of this research was to utilize co-design thinking to investigate and understand the experiences of veteran students entering into college at The Ohio State University (OSU) after military service, and to assist the university in improving those transition experiences. The research significance is that an increasing number of post 9/11 era veterans are utilizing the educational benefits earned through their service. Many of these service members have spent years inside a military culture, which has inadequately prepared them for a transition to the civilian and academic environments.
It has been found that veteran students often self-segregate due to age differences, and their experiences gained through military service. Additionally, while OSU’s Office of Military and Veteran Services (OMVS) has been doing incredible things to help veteran students transition away from the military and into OSU, many of their practices tend to promote self-segregation rather than integration.
Although it is not true across the entire population of veteran students, the research conducted showed that many sought opportunities for improved social integration programs. Opportunities lie in finding a balance between the culture that veteran students share, and integration into the civilian culture they are now part of. Additionally, veteran students could benefit from additional support in regards to academics and logistics when navigating through OSU.
The study conducted was comprised of preliminary interviews with a director of the OMVS, an initial survey, four co-design sessions with volunteer veteran students, and an evaluative survey to gain deeper insight into the possible new service concepts generated during the co-design sessions. Based on the research results, proposed new services and improvements to existing ones were presented to OSU’s OMVS.
Japan has become a super-aging society, with the number of older people (over the age of 65) at a historical high both in absolute numbers (33 million) and as a proportion of the total population (26.0%). Walking is known to be associated with positive psychological improvements such as in subjective sense of wellbeing, life satisfaction, and a sense of purpose in life, as well as improvements in physical and mental function, such as arm/leg muscle strength and standing balance. In this study, we focus on information about functions for assisting walking, comparing and contrasting the information provided by existing products that support walking with the goal of clarifying issues from an information-provision viewpoint. We conducted interviews with eight older people who go for walks on a daily basis, asking about their thoughts before, during, and after walking. From 110 total comments, we obtained 30 comments relating to the action of walking. Furthermore, we investigated the functions of 11 devices and 20 applications that support walking, and from 24 functions, we focused on 20 functions relating to the action of walking. By comparing and contrasting the twin perspectives of “information items” and “information content” with visualization levels identified in the field of management, we clarified issues relating to devices and applications for supporting walking among older users, from the viewpoint of information provision.
This paper demonstrates how Goffman’s frame analysis is applied in a research on designers’ experience with Cloud based digital tools. At the base of Goffman’s structure is the ‘primary frame’ - in this case designers’ experience with computer based digital tools. These tools’ transition to the Cloud initiated by businesses are called ‘fabrications’. Goffman’s ‘structural issues in fabrication’ such as ‘retransformations’ and the ‘nature of recontainment’ are also discussed through contemporary examples. These fabrications are used or ‘keyed’ by ‘active agents’ from various design fields. The data collected showed different levels of understanding of Cloud technology and the application of various tools in everyday design practices. Thus, the interviewees were clustered into three groups - designers, developers and artists. Their experiences form the creative, technology and experimental frame derived from keying of the primary frame. Design researchers can selectively borrow elements from frame analysis’ complex structure to build an effective user experience narrative.
Case studies are discussed, from Northumbria University’s practice-led Centre for Design Research (CfDR) that demonstrate how visualising concepts and designs through digital animation can enable effective communication of ideas and interactions, which in turn enables creative leaps in thinking, understanding and decision-making. Animation is a tool that can unlock the comprehension into what is and what could be. This paper reflects on a number of collaborative projects between the CfDR and several scientific communities, demonstrating and focusing in particular on the process of visualisation, designing digital animations to communicate complex processes, ideas and interactions. An approach and understanding has been developed about how to effectively communicate potentially complex, scientific and technical concepts for the benefit of the client and the end user, in particular the lay audience whose knowledge of the subject may be limited or non-existing.
Findings indicate that the process of constructing simple digital animated stories becomes a learning process for both designer and client. Critical discussions during collaborative meetings develop shared understandings: helping clients to think more creatively about communication (appreciating the benefits of manipulating a truth to position to waylay contextual confusion), and making implicit knowledge belonging to the client explicit to the designer. It is important to state that this negotiation is more effective when the designer is a layperson with respect to the complex implicit knowledge of the client. During these collaborative conditions the untangling of complex ideas have achieve the a-ha moments in the animations’ audiences.
How do arts-based writing endeavors catalyze generative thinking and support research development in design students’ thesis endeavors? This paper offers reflections from an industrial design masters student, a graphic design masters student, and their arts education professor in a School of Design at a Research I institution. Informed by theoretical and historical contexts of the design discipline and perspectives from composition studies and fine arts practice, we explore the potential of arts-based writing as an evocative, speculative tool and a distinctive form of reflective practice for the development of graduate design research. We suggest that arts-based writing’s iterative process, dialogic engagement, and speculative approach to knowledge-construction provide critical, reflective structures for working through uncertainties and thus are uniquely responsive to the evolving epistemologies of the transdisciplinary university. Three focal questions guide this reflection: What is arts-based writing? What role does arts-based writing play in students’ design research endeavors? How can arts-based writing practices support the growth of speculative and pragmatic design research?
Having observed that many industrial design projects are started with the wrong approach, producing loss of resources, time, and professional relationships, this article presents a set of three tools that enables a clearer view of the Fuzzy Front-end (Vogel, Cagan). The first tool helps to understand the design order (Buchanan) of the product to be developed, and to place it in the utilitarian product universe (practical and economically biased), the transitional-wholistic product universe (practical, economic, and emotionally balanced), or the emotional product universe (viscerally and symbolically biased). The second identifies a product’s global purpose composed by its practical, economic, and emotional purposes, as well as the value factors they include (practical and indicative function, usability, practical or emotional cost-benefit, visceral appeal, and symbolic meaning). The third tool involves the type of project to be undertaken (vision, new development, major enhancement, or minor enhancement). Applicable to all disciplines of design, the three tools comprise the product identity footprint, which helps inform the selection of appropriate strategies to start a project the right way. It can increase the efficiency of the product development process by providing an agreed view that can be shared with all the development team, from the project sponsor to the engineering, marketing, planning, and creative departments.