Perceptions of Complexity in Design Representation: Implications for an Understanding of Design Practice
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- Perceptions of Complexity in Design Representation: Implications for an Understanding of Design Practice
- Self, James A.; Lee, Seong-geun; Bang, Hyeonseok
- Issue Date
- Common Ground Publishing
- International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice, v.9, no.4, pp.33 - 46
- From the ubiquitous hand sketch to high fidelity prototypes, designers employ design representation as a means to externalise, reflect upon, develop and communicate design intentions. As a result of their importance, efforts have been made to identify and classify the different attributes of the various representations used during design practice. In this study an existing quantitative approach to the identification and classification of complexity within design representation is used as a coding frame in a content analysis of design representation present within 50 industrial design case-studies. Results indicate the complexity scale’s limitations as a means of analysis due to the subjective interpretation required in its application. Conceptual and developmental design representation is particularly resistant to the objective measurement of complexity. Results indicate the limitations of research which attempts to objectively quantify and classify design representation. Instead we provide further evidence to indicate understanding of conceptual representation is best achieved through the framing of design as a subjective construction, sensitive to personal interpretation and deployed as part of a reflective conversation with the situation.
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