Design Cognition Differences When Using Structured and Unstructured Concept Generation Creativity Techniques

DS 73-1 Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Design Creativity Volume 1

Year: 2012
Editor: Duffy, A.; Nagai, Y.; Taura, T.
Author: Gero, J. S.; Jiang, H.; Williams, C. B.
Section: Cognition I
Page(s): 3-12


This paper presents the results of measuring and comparing design cognition while using different creativity techniques for concept generation in collaborative engineering design settings. Eleven design teams, each consisted of two senior mechanical engineering students, were given the same two design tasks, respectively using an unstructured concept generation technique (brainstorming) and a structured technique (TRIZ). A protocol analysis was carried out where the designing activities were audio-visually recorded and analysed using the FBS ontologically-based coding scheme. Preliminary results indicate that the students‘ design cognition differed when designing with different concept generation creativity techniques. The inter-technique differences were mainly noticeable in the early stages of designing. Specifically, designers tend to focus more on problem-related aspects of designing, i.e., design goals and requirements, when using the structured technique of TRIZ. Alternatively, when using the unstructured technique of brainstorming, designers focused more on solution-related aspects of designing, i.e., a solution‘s structure and behaviour.

Keywords: creativity techniques, design cognition, FBS ontology, protocol analysis


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