A Model of Designing: Understanding Engineering Design Activity

Saeema Ahmed, Marco Aurisicchio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This research describes an understanding of design activity through design questions. From a number of previous studies two types of questions have been identified: 1) reasoning questions; and 2) strategic questions. Strategic questions are part of an experienced designers approach to solving a design task. The paper describes how designers progress their tasks by asking questions at both a reasoning and strategic level. Transcripts of protocol analysis have been examined to identify both strategic questions and reasoning questions. These are discussed together with their relation to a problem solving model. An example of aerospace engineering design is used to illustrate the argument. The research contributes to an understanding of design activity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConnected International Conference on Design Education
EditorsRobert Zehner, Carl Reidsma
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherThe University of New Sourth Wales Sydney
Publication date2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventConnected International Conference on Design Education - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 1 Jan 2007 → …


ConferenceConnected International Conference on Design Education
CitySydney, Australia
Period01/01/2007 → …


  • questions
  • design thinking


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