|Ph.D Student||Bar-Eli Shoshana|
|Subject||Design Behavior Profiles: Similarities and Differences|
in Design Students' Processes
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Gabriela Goldschmidt|
|Full Thesis text|
This research focuses on interpersonal variations in design behavior. It is based on 'think aloud' design experiments, in which fifty participants - all interior design students - were assigned two design problems, which they carried out individually, while talking out load. The research method was to first determine designing characteristics, and subsequently to derive design behavior profiles by combining designing characteristics found to be interlinked.
Most of the previous studies on design behavior and processes were conducted on a relatively small sample population, and therefore placed little emphasis on distinguishing differences among designers. In this research, exploratory qualitative methods were implemented to infer various designing characteristics. Subsequently, quantitative research methods were used to determine how these characteristics act in unison and form comprehensive patterns of design behavior in the problem formulation and solution generation phases of the design process. The in-depth analysis of both phases reveals a more comprehensive and detailed picture of the differences among designers. Conducting the research using a relatively large population of designers allowed for a detailed quantitative analysis that produced a wider range of results.
By analyzing the combinations of the design characteristics of problem formulation and solution generation phases, we identified various design behavior profiles: Concept Oriented; Process Management Oriented; and Problem Oriented. We also identified solution generation profiles: Realization Oriented; Learning Oriented; Designer Oriented; and Assessment Oriented. Each design behavior profile is shaped by a combination of designing characteristics that generate the individual's innate manner of designing. The findings demonstrate that design behavior profiles guide various approaches to problem and solution: Focusing on the designer, focusing on the given problem and focusing on the end solution. When analyzing the relationships between problem formulation and solution generation profiles, the findings demonstrated that student-designers exhibit a consistent propensity in their problem and/or solution orientation. The findings also suggest that learning styles and design problem types may comprise factors that explain the designers' behavior, even if only partially.
We believe that both students and teachers stand to benefit from the identification and the clarification of the differences among design students in terms of their process of designing. A better understanding of design behavior patterns may serve as a basis for the development of various pedagogical concepts, strategies and tools, and may allow students to better understand the relationship between their worlds of thought and experience and their design processes.