Reflecting on Design Sketching: Implications for Problem- Framing and Solution-focused Conceptual Ideation
Background This investigation examines the role and use of sketching as tool of design representation during conceptual design activity. In particular we focus upon sketching’s relationship with problem framing and solution-focused strategies and reasoning in the proposition, exploration and development of solution ideas. This research was conducted to contribute to furthering knowledge and understanding of sketching for use in design pedagogy and the development of conceptual design tools. Methods In a qualitative content analysis (QCA) a coding frame based upon the constructs naming, framing, moving and reflecting is employed in the analysis of a concept design protocol using the think-aloud method. The protocol’s transcriptions were segmented before being encoded through the concept-driven coding frame. The analysis and discussion of results proceeds through reference to the encoded protocol data and is supported by the synchronic charting of design activity. Results Sketching activity during conceptual design provides opportunities for previous frames of reference to re-emerge and be re-engaged in new ways. The act of sketching appeared to facilitate frequent shifts of attention to and from sub-problems and sub-solutions. This thus provided opportunities to laterally explore different aspects of emergent solution ideas in a concurrent manner. These frequent shifting of attention may act as a catalyst for appositional reasoning across different aspects of the design problem. The participant’s solution-focused thoughts appeared to both influence and be influenced by sketching activity, affording fresh insights and perspectives to emerge. Conclusion The study of sketching and other tools of design representation provides opportunities to better understand the kinds of designerly ways of knowing, thinking and action required in practice. Findings have implications for design pedagogy and the development of conceptual design tools.
Citation : Self, J., and Pei, E. (2014) Reflecting on Design Sketching: Implications for Problem- Framing and Solution-focused Conceptual Ideation. Archives of Design Research, 27 (3), pp. 65-87
ISSN : 1226-8046
Research Group : Design and New Product Development
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Design