Developing a Coding Scheme to Analyse Creativity in Highly-constrained Design Activities

Elies Dekoninck, Huang Yue, Thomas J. Howard, Chris/A McMahon

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


    This work is part of a larger project which aims to investigate the nature of creativity and the effectiveness of creativity tools in highly-constrained design tasks. This paper presents the research where a coding scheme was developed and tested with a designer-researcher who conducted two rounds of design and analysis on a highly constrained design task. This paper shows how design changes can be coded using a scheme based on creative ‘modes of change’. The coding scheme can show the way a designer moves around the design space, and particularly the strategies that are used by a creative designer to skip from one ‘train of solutions’ to new avenues. The coding scheme can be made more robust by: ensuring design change is always coded relative to a reference design; tightening up definitions of ‘system’, ‘element’ and ‘function’; and using a matrix to develop a more complete set of codes. A much larger study with more designers working on different types of highly-constrained design task is needed, in order to draw conclusions on the modes of change and their relationship to creativity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDesign Creativity 2010
    Publication date2010
    ISBN (Print)978-0-85729-223-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventThe First International Conference on Design Creativity 2010 - Kobe International Conference Center, Kobe, Japan
    Duration: 1 Jan 2010 → …


    ConferenceThe First International Conference on Design Creativity 2010
    CityKobe International Conference Center, Kobe, Japan
    Period01/01/2010 → …


    • coding scheme
    • modes of change
    • design space
    • empirical study
    • highly-constrained
    • creativity
    • design rationale

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