Analysing the use of four creativity tools in a constrained design situation

Christopher Snider, Elies Dekoninck, Huang Yue, Thomas Howard

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper investigates creativity tools and their use within highly constrained design tasks. Previously, a coding scheme was developed to classify design changes as ‘Creative Modes of Change’. The coding scheme is used to compare the outcomes from the use of four creative tools (supported design) against unsupported design within a constrained task. The tools showed design space expansion, developing additional concepts to those from the unsupported stage. All four tools stimulated ‘Creative Modes of Change’, although the type varied depending on their operation. ‘Assumption Smashing’ and the ‘Contradiction Matrix’ usually stimulate extra function; ‘Analogies’ and ‘Trends of Evolution’ improve design performance. The former two usually produce ‘Creative Modes of Change’ as opposed to routine. The results show some links between the designer’s driving force, mode of change and the design outcome. ‘New Requirements’ as a driving force tend towards creative change and ‘Change in Function’; ‘Design Improvement’ leads to less creative change and ‘Change in Performance’. Hence a link may exist between the designer’s driver, the design outcome, and the ideal tool to complete the task.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
EventInternational Conference on Engineering Design, ICED11 - DTU Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Duration: 15 Aug 201118 Aug 2011


ConferenceInternational Conference on Engineering Design, ICED11
CityDTU Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

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