Carnegie Mellon University
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Problem structuring in architectural design

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journal contribution
posted on 1987-01-01, 00:00 authored by Akin, Bharat Dave, Shakunthala Pithavadian, Carnegie Mellon University.Engineering Design Research Center.
The purpose of our research is to describe in operational terms the process of problem structuring while solving spatial problems in architectural design. The designer's behavior is described in terms of Problem Structuring, when problem parameters are established or transformed, and Problem Solving, when these parameters are satisfied in a design solution. As opposed to problem soloving, structuring of problems is a little studied but crucial aspect of complex tasks such as design. Our work is based on observations derived from verbal protocol studies.To consider various levels of skill, our subjects range from professional architects to novice designers. Subjects are given space planning problems which require them to develop solutions in accordance with individually established constraints and criteria, the majority of which are not explicitly stated in the problem description.Based on the results of the protocol analysis, a framework is developed, which explains how information processing characteristics, problem structure and different levels of expertise interact to influence the designer's behavior.




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