Tools and Tasks: How Designers Make and Use Tools for Design Explorations

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Date created
Author: Wang, Ye
Design exploration is a complex creative activity that has common characteristics across disciplines. The lack of a unified theory of design exploration poses challenges for designing Computational Design Tools (CDTs), especially with respect to how designers make and use exploration tools in different task environments. Through three related studies, I aim to understand how designers act in the exploration processes. Study 1 investigates conceptual sketching in webpage design explorations. Study 2 comprises interviews of architecture practitioners about their use of exploration tools. Study 3 is a lab study of the architecture schematic design exploration process given a large number of CDT generated alternatives. Experimental interactive visualizations were built to assist with design exploration and data analysis. From these studies, we conjecture that overloaded design exploration presents a task environment distinctly different from the non-overloaded case. This thesis concludes with system interaction design suggestions for future CDTs from our findings.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Erhan, Halil
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etd9243_YWang.pdf 96.36 MB