Toward A Constraint-Oriented Pragmatist Understanding Of Design Creativity

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Slides from our presentation of the paper Toward A Constraint-Oriented Pragmatist Understanding Of Design Creativity at the International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC) in Glasgow, September …

Slides from our presentation of the paper Toward A Constraint-Oriented Pragmatist Understanding Of Design Creativity at the International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC) in Glasgow, September 2012. The paper explores the potentials of pragmatist philosophy to enrich the discourse on design creativity in general and the concept of constraints specifically. We argue that pragmatism can inspire and inform the study of constraints in design creativity by offering a coherent and well-developed frame of understanding how designerly inquiry unfolds as a complex interplay between the designer and the resources at hand in the situation, which may continuously alternate between constraining and enabling roles, or even take on both roles simultaneously.

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  • 1. TOWARD A CONSTRAINT-ORIENTED PRAGMATIST UNDERSTANDING OF DESIGN CREATIVITY MICHAEL MOSE BISKJAER & PETER DALSGAARD CENTRE FOR ADVANCED VISUALISATION AND INTERACTION (CAVI) PARTICIPATORY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CENTRE (PIT) AARHUS UNIVERSITY DENMARK
  • 2. Interaction design CASES DESIGN CREATIVITY PRAGMATISM CONSTRAINTSPhilosophy Creativity Aesthetics
  • 3. AARHUS UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF ARTS CENTRE FOR ADVANCED PARTICIPATORY INFORMATION VISUALIZATION AND TECHNOLOGY CENTRE INTERACTION (PIT) (CAVI)
  • 4. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN RESEARCH
  • 5. PARTICIPATORY METHODS
  • 6. THE EMERGENCE AND TRANSFORMATION OF DESIGN CONCEPTS
  • 7. (Dalsgaard, Halskov & Nielsen 2008)MAPPING AND ANALYSING WHAT HAPPENS IN THE DESIGN PROCESS...
  • 8. ... AS WELL AS WHAT HAPPENS IN USE SITUATIONS
  • 9. PRAGMATISM AND DESIGN CREATIVITY Situation A situated and emergent process,    which is explorative and characterised by Inquiry reciprocal interplay between the designer and  the environment ... Transformation ... with the aim of transforming the situation  through new insights and/or interventions   Technology ... and in which the designer employs a range of tools and techniques; these resources are often an essential part of the process.
  • 10. Interaction design CASES DESIGN CREATIVITY PRAGMATISM CONSTRAINTSPhilosophy Creativity Aesthetics
  • 11. CONSTRAINTSfeatured in all creativity-related domains and disciplines - AT A GLANCEfrom philosophy, art, management, political and socialsciences to psychology, sports, medicine, and engineeringdesign. Thus, no transparent cross-disciplinary terminology.Latin: ‘constringere‘ meaning ‘to restrain, compress, bind or ETYMOLOGYpress together’ (the freedictionary.com/constrain)‘Constraints are limitations on action. They set boundaries on BASIC DEFINITIONsolutions’ (Vandenbosch & Gallagher 2004: 198)‘Constraints on thinking do not merely constrain, but also DUAL NATURE:make certain thoughts - certain mental structures - possible’ RESTRAINING AND ENABLING… (Boden 2004: 46; Onarheim & Wiltschnig 2010)
  • 12. LACK OF COMMON TERMINOLOGY RESEARCH IN GENERAL‘Constraints’ encompass creative choices, preferences,obstructions, hindrances, requirements, demands, desires,,conventions, expectations, limitations, rules, inabilities, etc.CONSTRAINTS AS INTEGRAL TO DESIGN DESIGN RESEARCHA growing interest in constraints, from engineering design tomore art-oriented practices: ‘Formally, all design can bethought of as constraint satisfaction, and one might betempted to propose global constraint satisfaction as auniversal solution for design.’ (Chandrasekaran 1990: 65).CONSTRAINTS IN CREATIVITY RESEARCH CREATIVITY RESEARCHNecessary that coming creativity research looks much closertoward the entwinement of constraints and creative agency –and from several angles (Kaufman and Sternberg 2010)
  • 13. MAIN CURRENT CONTRIBUTIONS TO CONSTRAINT TYPOLOGIES Bryan Lawson: How Designers Think (2006) DESIGN and ARCHITECTURE Patricia D. Stokes: Creativity from Constraints (2006) PSYCHOLOGY and ART Jon Elster: Ulysses Unbound (2000) PHILOPSOPHY and ‘AESTHETICS’‘CREATIVITY CONSTRAINTS’Our proposal for an arts and humanities-based, domain-general unifying descriptor toaddress how constraints are inherent in and both restrain and enable creative processes.
  • 14. A BASIC FORMALIZED CONSTRAINT TYPOLOGYFOR ANALYZING CREATIVE PROCESSES Intrinsic Hard soft Incidental Beneficial constraints Imposed Hard soft Essential Self-imposed Hard Soft Adapted from Elster 2000.
  • 15. AESTHETIC STRATEGIES OF ENABLING CREATIVITY CONSTRAINTSCREATIVITY CONSTRAINTS IN AVANT-GARDE ART 
  • 16. A CROSS-DOMAIN CONTINUUM OFCREATIVITY CONSTRAINTSUNDER-CONSTRAINED OVER-CONSTRAINEDPROBLEMS PROBLEMS Poetry Filmmaking Engineering SELF-IMPOSED CREATIVITY CONSTRAINTS LEVERAGE THE POTENTIAL FOR Adapted from Stacey & Eckert 2000. CREATIVITY
  • 17. POPULAR LITERATURE  ALLEGED METHODS FOR FOSTERING CREATIVITY
  • 18. BALANCING CREATIVITY CONSTRAINTS ‘THE SWEET SPOT’ OF CREATIVITY Onarheim & Biskjaer (in press).
  • 19. BALANCING CREATIVITY CONSTRAINTS ‘THE SWEET SPOT’ OF CREATIVITY Onarheim & Biskjaer (in press).
  • 20. CREATIVITY IN DESIGN  CREATIVITY IN DESIGN?  OR A topic understood in very diverse ways by several individual  conceptualizations. Addressed analytically and descriptively. DESIGN CREATIVITY? (Askland, Ostwald & Williams 2010) or DESIGN CREATIVITY? We understand ‘design’ as pertaining to a unique human faculty for promoting intentional change and innovation through exploration and reflection (Löwgren and Stolterman 2004). Design is always culturally embedded. Thus, we argue that it is profitably to inform design research proper by looking toward the arts and humanities – both back and forward…
  • 21. Interaction design CASES DESIGN CREATIVITY PRAGMATISM CONSTRAINTSPhilosophy Creativity Aesthetics
  • 22. CONCLUSIONS PRAGMATISM AND DESIGN CREATIVITY -  A well-established school of thought that has already inspired and informed studies of the design process and design thinking -  A nuanced and consistent conceptual framework that posits design creativity as an emergent, distributed, and technological phenomenon CREATIVITY CONSTRAINTS AND DESIGN CREATIVITY -  A pragmatist framework for cross-disciplinary analyses of design processes, emphasizing the potential of proficient and innovative constraint management -  Analytical insights into ways to scaffold concrete case-tested methods for optimization of design processes based on enabling self-imposed creativity constraints -  A conceptual bridge for informing design studies with key cross-disciplinary findings from the arts and humanities; findings based on pragmatist, exploratory case studies.
  • 23. THANK YOU CONTACTMichael Mose Biskjaerimvmmb@hum.au.dkPeter Dalsgaarddalsgaard@cavi.dkAarhus University, DenmarkCentre for Participatory IT (PIT)www.cavi.dkCentre for Advanced Visualization and Interaction (CAVI)www.pit.au.dk For references, please see proceedings
  • 24. REFERENCES: REFERENCESAskland, H.H., Ostwald, M., Williams, A. 2010. ChangingConceptualisations of Creativity in Design, in Desire 10: Proceedingsof the first conference on Creativity and Innovation in Design, Aarhus,Denmark, 4-11Löwgren, J., Stolterman, E. 2004. Thoughtful Interaction Design: ADesign Perspective on Information Technology. The MIT Press,Massachusetts, USABoden, M.A. 2004. The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms. 2Routledge, London; New YorkOnarheim, B., Wiltschnig, S. 2010. Opening and Constraining:Constraints and Their Role in Creative Processes, in Desire 10:Proceedings of the first conference on Creativity and Innovation inDesign, Aarhus, Denmark, 83-89