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The Structure of Creative Design: What Problem Maps Can Tell Us About Problem Formulation and Creative Designers

[+] Author Affiliations
Andreea Danielescu, Mahmoud Dinar, Christopher MacLellan, Jami J. Shah, Pat Langley

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Paper No. DETC2012-70325, pp. 437-446; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 9th International Conference on Design Education; 24th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4506-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Problem formulation is an important part of the design process that has been largely underexplored. Similarly, the relationship between how designers formulate problems and creative outcome is not well understood. To shed light on what the process of problem formulation can tell us about creativity in design, we use the problem map model — a flexible, domain-independent ontology for modeling the design formulation process — to analyze protocols from eight expert designers. In this paper, we discuss the effectiveness of using problem maps for coding design protocols and what the problem map model can tell us about the protocols of designers. In this exploratory study, we use the problem map model to code and analyze the problem formulation stage of the design process.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Design



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