Journal or Book Title
Proceedings of DRS2018
DRS 2018: Design as a catalyst for change
June 25 – 28, 2018
Ideally, designers move past existing ideas to create novel designs. But designers often experience “fixation,” where new ideas are similar to existing designs. An example concept in a brief, or early attachment to one’s initial ideas, can limit the range of designs considered. This research study explored the use of “Design Heuristics,” to overcome fixation in a design education setting. Design Heuristics are a set of prompts intended to point designers toward different types of concepts. The 77 prompts are derived from empirical studies of designers, and have been shown to be effective in developing design capability. In the study, novice engineering design students first used brainstorming, and continued to generate more ideas using Design Heuristics . The results showed that ideas created during brainstorming were more similar to initial ideas. Concepts created with Design Heuristics were judged less similar and more creative. This suggests fixation on initial examples can be mitigated by using tools like Design Heuristics during design, which contributes to how educators can help students develop ideation skills.
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Leahy, Keelin; Seifert, Colleen M.; Daly, Shanna; and McKilligan, Seda, "Overcoming Design Fixation in Idea Generation" (2018). Industrial Design Conference Presentations, Posters and Proceedings. 15.