Unexpected discoveries and S-invention of design requirements: Important vehicles for a design process

Masaki Suwa, John Gero, Terry Purcell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

195 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Designers, during a conceptual design process, do not just synthesize solutions that satisfy initially given requirements, but also invent design issues or requirements that capture important aspects of the given problem. How do they do this? What becomes the impetus for the invention of important issues or requirements? So-called `unexpected discoveries', the acts of attending to visuo-spatial features in sketches which were not intended when they were drawn, are believed to contribute to it. The purpose of the present research is to verify this hypothesis. Analyzing the cognitive processes of a practising architect in a design session, we found that in about a half of his entire design process there were bi-directional relations between unexpected discoveries and the invention of issues or requirements. Not only did unexpected discoveries become the driving force for the invention of issues or requirements, but also the occurrence of invention, in turn, tended to cause new unexpected discoveries. This has provided empirical evidence for two anecdotal views of designing. First, designing is a situated act; designers invent design issues or requirements in a way situated in the environment in which they design. We call inventions of this sort situated-invention (S-invention). Secondly, a design process progresses in such a way that the problem-space and the solution-space co-evolve. Further, this has brought a pedagogical implication as well as an insight about an important aspect of learning by experience in design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-567
Number of pages29
JournalDesign Studies
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Nov
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Patents and inventions
invention
architect
Conceptual design
Invention
cause
learning
evidence
experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Engineering(all)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

Cite this

Unexpected discoveries and S-invention of design requirements : Important vehicles for a design process. / Suwa, Masaki; Gero, John; Purcell, Terry.

In: Design Studies, Vol. 21, No. 6, 11.2000, p. 539-567.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{7c9fba18c1db4220b0b805ff16f11af3,
title = "Unexpected discoveries and S-invention of design requirements: Important vehicles for a design process",
abstract = "Designers, during a conceptual design process, do not just synthesize solutions that satisfy initially given requirements, but also invent design issues or requirements that capture important aspects of the given problem. How do they do this? What becomes the impetus for the invention of important issues or requirements? So-called `unexpected discoveries', the acts of attending to visuo-spatial features in sketches which were not intended when they were drawn, are believed to contribute to it. The purpose of the present research is to verify this hypothesis. Analyzing the cognitive processes of a practising architect in a design session, we found that in about a half of his entire design process there were bi-directional relations between unexpected discoveries and the invention of issues or requirements. Not only did unexpected discoveries become the driving force for the invention of issues or requirements, but also the occurrence of invention, in turn, tended to cause new unexpected discoveries. This has provided empirical evidence for two anecdotal views of designing. First, designing is a situated act; designers invent design issues or requirements in a way situated in the environment in which they design. We call inventions of this sort situated-invention (S-invention). Secondly, a design process progresses in such a way that the problem-space and the solution-space co-evolve. Further, this has brought a pedagogical implication as well as an insight about an important aspect of learning by experience in design.",
author = "Masaki Suwa and John Gero and Terry Purcell",
year = "2000",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1016/S0142-694X(99)00034-4",
language = "English",
volume = "21",
pages = "539--567",
journal = "Design Studies",
issn = "0142-694X",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Unexpected discoveries and S-invention of design requirements

T2 - Important vehicles for a design process

AU - Suwa, Masaki

AU - Gero, John

AU - Purcell, Terry

PY - 2000/11

Y1 - 2000/11

N2 - Designers, during a conceptual design process, do not just synthesize solutions that satisfy initially given requirements, but also invent design issues or requirements that capture important aspects of the given problem. How do they do this? What becomes the impetus for the invention of important issues or requirements? So-called `unexpected discoveries', the acts of attending to visuo-spatial features in sketches which were not intended when they were drawn, are believed to contribute to it. The purpose of the present research is to verify this hypothesis. Analyzing the cognitive processes of a practising architect in a design session, we found that in about a half of his entire design process there were bi-directional relations between unexpected discoveries and the invention of issues or requirements. Not only did unexpected discoveries become the driving force for the invention of issues or requirements, but also the occurrence of invention, in turn, tended to cause new unexpected discoveries. This has provided empirical evidence for two anecdotal views of designing. First, designing is a situated act; designers invent design issues or requirements in a way situated in the environment in which they design. We call inventions of this sort situated-invention (S-invention). Secondly, a design process progresses in such a way that the problem-space and the solution-space co-evolve. Further, this has brought a pedagogical implication as well as an insight about an important aspect of learning by experience in design.

AB - Designers, during a conceptual design process, do not just synthesize solutions that satisfy initially given requirements, but also invent design issues or requirements that capture important aspects of the given problem. How do they do this? What becomes the impetus for the invention of important issues or requirements? So-called `unexpected discoveries', the acts of attending to visuo-spatial features in sketches which were not intended when they were drawn, are believed to contribute to it. The purpose of the present research is to verify this hypothesis. Analyzing the cognitive processes of a practising architect in a design session, we found that in about a half of his entire design process there were bi-directional relations between unexpected discoveries and the invention of issues or requirements. Not only did unexpected discoveries become the driving force for the invention of issues or requirements, but also the occurrence of invention, in turn, tended to cause new unexpected discoveries. This has provided empirical evidence for two anecdotal views of designing. First, designing is a situated act; designers invent design issues or requirements in a way situated in the environment in which they design. We call inventions of this sort situated-invention (S-invention). Secondly, a design process progresses in such a way that the problem-space and the solution-space co-evolve. Further, this has brought a pedagogical implication as well as an insight about an important aspect of learning by experience in design.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0034322974&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0034322974&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/S0142-694X(99)00034-4

DO - 10.1016/S0142-694X(99)00034-4

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0034322974

VL - 21

SP - 539

EP - 567

JO - Design Studies

JF - Design Studies

SN - 0142-694X

IS - 6

ER -