An investigation into the cognitive and spatial markers of creativity and efficiency in architectural design

Al Sayed, Kinda and Penn, Alan (2022) An investigation into the cognitive and spatial markers of creativity and efficiency in architectural design. In: Gero, John S (ed.) Ninth international conference on Design Computing and Cognition (DCC'20 or DCC20). Springer, Switzerland. ISBN 9783030906245

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (2MB)


This paper presents a preliminary study into the spatial features that can be used to distinguish creativity and efficiency in design layouts, and the distinct pattern of cognitive activity that is associated with creative design. In a design experiment, a group of 12 architects were handed a design brief. Their drawing activity was recorded and they were required to externalize their thoughts during the design process. Both design solutions and verbal comments were analyzed and modeled. A separate group of mature architects used their expert knowledge to assign creativity and efficiency scores to the 12 design solutions. The design solutions were evaluated spatially. Protocol analysis studies including linkography and macroscopic analysis were used to discern distinctive patterns in the design processes that are marked with the highest and least creativity scores. Through this investigation, we suggest that expert knowledge can be used to assess creativity and efficiency in designs. Our findings indicate that efficient layouts have distinct spatial features, and that a cognitive activity that yields a highly creative outcome corresponds to higher frequencies of design actions and higher linkages between design moves. These linkages build up from local sequential design decisions to global design decisions linking the problem definition stage to the solution definition stage.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2020 09:09
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 10:37

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update