Abstract

Considerable research has been done by various scholars to assess the significance of sketching in the early stages of the design process. However, sketching in design studies usually corresponds to drawing and the extensive research on the cognitive aspects of sketching does not always include threedimensional sketching through physical and digital models produced in the early phases of design process. The aim of the presented research is to question whether model-making in the design process and design cognition is a form of sketching. Departing from key research on sketching which articulates its uncertain nature as a positive drive in early design phases, this paper looks at whether physical and digital models can also be counted among ambiguous design tools. The inquiry is conducted with three graduate students of architecture having similar degrees of professional experience and skills of making physical and digital models. The participants are given three architectural design tasks which are similar in terms of contextual, functional and programmatic complexity and scale and are asked to solve the given design problems by using three different mediums: free-hand sketches, physical models, and digital models. The design sessions are recorded using camcorders and the participants are asked to think-aloud during the design protocols. The Linkography method is used for the analyses of the protocol studies and linkographs are developed for each design session. Departing from the assumption that ambiguity of a medium is positively related with the amount of lateral transformations realized during a design session, the outcomes of the linkographs are compared in terms of the transformations generated. We conclude that having too many lateral transformations is not always an indication of ambiguity.

Keywords:

Design, Design Protocols, Sketching, Model-Making, Reflective Practices, Cognition, Computer- Aided Design, Linkography.

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Is Model-Making Sketching in Design?

Considerable research has been done by various scholars to assess the significance of sketching in the early stages of the design process. However, sketching in design studies usually corresponds to drawing and the extensive research on the cognitive aspects of sketching does not always include threedimensional sketching through physical and digital models produced in the early phases of design process. The aim of the presented research is to question whether model-making in the design process and design cognition is a form of sketching. Departing from key research on sketching which articulates its uncertain nature as a positive drive in early design phases, this paper looks at whether physical and digital models can also be counted among ambiguous design tools. The inquiry is conducted with three graduate students of architecture having similar degrees of professional experience and skills of making physical and digital models. The participants are given three architectural design tasks which are similar in terms of contextual, functional and programmatic complexity and scale and are asked to solve the given design problems by using three different mediums: free-hand sketches, physical models, and digital models. The design sessions are recorded using camcorders and the participants are asked to think-aloud during the design protocols. The Linkography method is used for the analyses of the protocol studies and linkographs are developed for each design session. Departing from the assumption that ambiguity of a medium is positively related with the amount of lateral transformations realized during a design session, the outcomes of the linkographs are compared in terms of the transformations generated. We conclude that having too many lateral transformations is not always an indication of ambiguity.

 

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