|M.Sc Student||Anat Litan Sever|
|Subject||Reading Text in Support of Design Concept Formation|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Goldschmidt Gabriela|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
Research results indicate that exposure to visual stimuli at the outset of design processes has a positive effect on the originality of design concepts conceived by designers. This study examines empirically the effect of verbal stimuli, which are quite different, on concept formation in design. The study's first assumption was that exposure to verbal stimuli closely related to the object the subject is asked to design would lead to a better solution of the design problem. The second assumption was that the reading of texts containing ideas farther removed from the object would facilitate the solution.
In order to examine the above assumptions and answer the questions posed, an experiment was set up with students of Industrial Design in an academic setting. 35 participants were asked to design two products, in a given time limit. They designed each of these products three times, under different conditions. The first time the tasks were carried out without any stimuli being given. The second time the students received stimuli in the form of texts containing ideas connected with the objects they were asked to design. The third time the stimuli given were texts containing ideas quite unconnected with the objects to be designed.
The results show:
1. There is a significant difference in the grades for originality between the work carried out when the subjects had not been exposed to any stimuli in the form of texts and the work done when such stimuli had been given by texts, regardless of whether the texts were closely connected with the assignment or were quite unrelated to it. The grades for originality of the works done with textual stimuli being present were significantly higher.
2. There is no discernible difference between the grades of the designs which had been done when the verbal stimuli had been closely connected with the work to be carried out and when the stimuli had been unrelated to it.
3. No differences are discernible in the grades pertaining to practicality of the designs.
It appears that when students are asked to solve design problems on a conceptual level within a given time limit, the originality of the design concept will improve if, at the beginning of their work, they are given verbal stimuli containing a variety of ideas. These stimuli enable them to strike out in new and original directions in order to solve design problems.