Reframing the design process: Integrating goals, methods and manifestation into the co-evolution model

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Storm, Rosa; van Maanen, Jeffrey; Gon
Series: ICED
Institution: Delft University of Technology
Section: Design creativity
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


In their early years of education, design students may experience difficulties in reframing design problems. Since reframing is linked to creativity, this may be problematic. While there are some models available to describe the reframing process, it is yet unclear how they are supporting design students. This study concerned the development and test of a framing model based on co-evolution transitions, through a two-part study: interviews with expert designers and workshops followed by group interviews with novices. The resulting model offers a way of thinking and a way of working, based on the fluidity of the design process. This study yielded two major insights. Firstly, students tend to perceive the problem space to be fixed once they defined it, even if they discovered disparate information along the way. Secondly, the developed model provides students with guidance and confidence in dealing with complex problems. Our results have a considerable impact on design education, as it is important to reinforce to design students that both the problem and solution understanding are fluid, and this model provides initial steps to help designers structuring their process.

Keywords: Design methodology, Design education, Creativity, Co-Evolution, Human behaviour in design


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