Archive for the 06.Design Thinking & Sketching Category

Readings (Argue FOR/AGAINST, Question)

Posted in 06.Design Thinking & Sketching on May 3, 2010 by Jay Yim

Argue FOR : Donald Schon – The Design Studio.

This paper explored a transaction between a professor, Quist, and his student, Petra in their journey to optimize Petra’s design sketch on building an elementary school through the methods of reflect-in-action. It was an intriguing point of view to see the interaction between two people, undoubtedly the professor guiding his student but in a way that required both of them to reflect upon their task at hand then acting on it and continuing its process till the outcome was satisfactory. As the author states, this process is definitely visible for the department of architecture because it does require artistic view such as its design but also relies on the applied science for the architecture to become practical. By using the design sketch as a board to try different ideas then reflect on them, then in turn produce new better ideas which can simultaneously be implemented onto the sketch was a vivid parallel transaction of talking and drawing at the same time. More significantly, it can be seen that the professor reframes and reworks the problem of his student into an organized way so that the student may find points accessible to solve and once one problem is solved, the professor moves onto other domains of the problem. It is shown that he is not afraid to retouch where they have visited before to simultaneously work back and forth between the total and the unit but always within the boundaries set by the beginning discipline. In conclusion, the paper showed me a very good example in the architecture department of a live reflective conversation in which designing took place.

Argue AGAINST : Masaki Suwa and Barbara Tversky – A Protocol Analysis

The research claims to provide examinations of why freehand sketches as external representation are essential for the design ideas in the early design process. It conducts an experiment to nine candidates whom are seven advanced students and two architects which I thought was such a different group to conduct the study with. As the study results show, the architects were much better to pick up the visual information from their sketches rather from their students and their method of going through the design was more connected to previous design focus. The students were more rummaging through different parts of the sketches as can be seen from the data that they are more prone to shift focus of the design than architects. However, it came to my question as to whether this ‘result’ of the experiment was not just attributable to the findings of the author but maybe it was due to the inevitable different standing points the two groups were in. Maybe with the architects experience, they have built up their design process thus when starting the sketch, the process has begun. As a result they were much better at explaining their sketches compared to the students. Another point i would like to make is their method of collecting the data in this paper. First the testers were given time to sketch which was videotaped and then were asked to explain their moves as they watched the videotaped sketch before. Although the authors point out that they tried to reduce the ‘selective recall’ by doing so, I feel that as previously stated with the architects experience and knowledge, they might have not been succumbed under the undesirable effect the selective recall but students might have had some effect. Even in my own experience, a thought that is not recorded or jotted down on a memo at a time flies away easily and although viewing the replay on video might help, you still cannot deny that it may not bring back every little detail in the design process which has led to the next step.

Question : Gabriela Goldschmidt – The Dialectics of Sketching.pdf

I have a question for this one. The research project consisted of designers participating in ‘thinking aloud’ sessions to tell the researchers on what they had exactly done during the design process. My question is whether these sessions showed any difference for each designer for example, one designer might be at ease to tell every little detail that happened in his head during his process while another might not have. Is it possible to view each recordings as good material to study the process of making sketches.

Second, it was hard for me to understand the actual process of the sketches being analyzed in how the designers actually worked. The paper introduced very specific details as to how each designer moved on step by step and considered various alternatives with their sketches but it was hard for me to grasp the significance of the actual process. The sketch steps has given insight and many more possible ideas to the designers but how can this be determined with patterns and protocols as a designin process could be a result of major inspirations taking place within one’s mind.


Interesting Article on Art and War: “Why do we need oil painters in a war zone?”

Posted in 05.Creativity and Design, 06.Design Thinking & Sketching on April 7, 2010 by karen mackay

It might seem strange that the government would fly a group of artists out to a war zone, but paintings from Afghanistan are the latest in a long line of war art that apparently serves a purpose.”

via BBC News

Building Virtual Worlds

Posted in 06.Design Thinking & Sketching on March 20, 2010 by Sagar Khadabadi

project ideas

Posted in 06.Design Thinking & Sketching, 07.Fixation and Incubation, 08.Elite or Everyman on March 7, 2010 by sjtoday

I proposed two possible creativity project that I’m interested in.

First is about collaborative creativity, how a group of people create a creative product together.  In most part of past research are about how technology support the collaboration, what devices to enhance remote or co-located collaboration. However, the question I’m interested is the compare between individual and collaborative creativity. Does collaboration really generate more creativity than individual because of brain storming or what other factors? or the individual work will generate the best result in creativity? I’m thinking comparing the difference between individual and collaborative creativity and also what help in the process of product development in these two different sessions.

The other idea is about personal preference about creativity. I once read a paper about curious agent and artificial creativity. One of its experiment investigates the social behavior of groups of agents with
different hedonistic functions of low or high preferences for novelty. It explores groups of agents that communicate amongst themselves but rarely acknowledge the creativity of agents outside the groups. I’m just wondering if this would happen in human society other than simulation agents. Simply put, if people only interested in the creativity similar to their own, or people can accept generally accepted creative work. If a creative work is too creative to be accepted by its society, can it still be called a creative work?

I think the first one might be more feasible, I’m interested how it would be for the second idea, but it’s still very vague right now. Any comments or thoughts?



Project Idea

Posted in 06.Design Thinking & Sketching, Uncategorized with tags , on March 7, 2010 by Andy Wu

About the CDC project, here are two other thoughts:

– create a tabletop version of Finke’s experiment

Users can move, zoom, rotate the shapes on the table.

It can be a multiuser experiment.

The table can record and playback.

A user can use two hands to manipulate two objects at the same time. You can’t do this with pencil & paper.

– a study to find out creative methods of problem solving

Some simple problems like:

How do you calculate 99×99=?

How do you remember your password?

How do you divide a rope into 5 segments of equal length?

Actually, I did a little search on google, and found that creative problem solving is one of the research topic in creativity.

There’re 5 or 6 famous systematic methods for creative problem solving on this page.

I like 2nd one though the idea is very abstract and it needs a lot of work. Anyway, I just finished implementing the 1st idea on an interactive tabletop display.

I dragged some of the symbols to create my name

I create my name using the symbols.

An apple with a bite

An apple with a bite. You can see 4 fingertips manipulating the apple. (idea from SJ)

Sketching in UI design/storyboards

Posted in 06.Design Thinking & Sketching, Uncategorized on February 23, 2010 by Waleed Manzoul

As I was reading these papers, I thought about how sketching applies to other domains. I’m an MS HCI student; as such, the ability to sketch out UI ideas and storyboards on paper is one of those implied skills in this field. But I tend not to jump to sketching on paper first when I’m thinking about UIs; I usually jump straight into code and figure things out there. I don’t think I’m a good sketcher and it feels unnatural for me to do so (and I’m not a heavy programmer, really).

I’d like to see how other students feel about this. If/when you’ve worked on UI designs or storyboards, when/how do you sketch on paper first? What do you gain by doing that?

Learning to sketch

Posted in 06.Design Thinking & Sketching on February 19, 2010 by Anna Mansour

In the midst of pizza last wednesday, we somehow got into a discussion about how one learns to sketch or draw, and how learning earlier in life can affect drawing perspective later. Sketching can be grounded in specific principles and practices when one has a background in drawing. For example, isometric drawing is when you represent a 3-dimensional object by drawing parallel lines and shapes. I use this technique when I am sketching or trying to convey an idea. I know when to draw parallel lines etc. to achieve the desired shape. Another technique is to decompose what you’re trying to draw into shapes, or blocks of colors or shading, or simply ‘drawing what you see’.

Before we talked about it, though, I hadn’t consciously realized that others might not know these techniques (or think about an ‘approach’ when starting to sketch), or how much I apply when I am sketching or drawing. Yet these principles can be really valuable to someone who doesn’t really draw but needs to convey ideas at their job. Like Suwa said (What do architects and students perceive in their sketches? A design protocol analysis), “…sketches…, as external representation, allow for reflective conversation.” To me this signifies the importance of early education in the arts. They can empower people with another way to convey the jumble going on in their heads.