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Assessing the Impact of Abstract Representations and Reframing of Design Brief Information on Creative Ideation

  • Jacob Kai Siang Kang (a1) (a2), Rianne Wally Meurzec (a1), Pei Zhi Chia (a1), Kristin L. Wood (a1) (a2), Georgios Koronis (a1) (a2) and Arlindo Silva (a1) (a2)...

Abstract

The overarching goal of this work is to support creative ideation in engineering design with the aim of overcoming design fixation. We study the impact of abstract representations and ways to frame the problem in design briefs on the creativity of concept sketches. Framing/Reframing involves shifting perspectives on the design purpose and to reveal insights and opportunities. Two Framing/Reframing techniques are tested: the Ishikawa/Fishbone Diagram to identify root causes and a blend of Parnes’ Restatement/SCAMPER method to encourage divergence in problem perception. Abstract representations of requirements were used as stimuli to foster transfer and associative thinking. Using a full-factorial experimental design with brief variations, C-Sketch ideas developed by first-year engineering/architecture students were evaluated for their creativity. Our results showed a positive interaction effect for novelty and usefulness when the Fishbone Reframing method was used with abstract representation, but there was no difference in creativity scores when comparing the two Framing/Reframing methods between each other.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.

Corresponding author

Contact: Kang, Jacob Kai Siang, Singapore University of Technology and Design, International Design Center, Singapore, Jacob_kang@mymail.sutd.edu.sg

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