Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Turnhout, Koen; Smits, Aletta
Institution: Utrecht University of Applied Sciences (HU), Netherlands, The
Section: Research in Design and Engineering Education Practice
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.41
Research about design cognition acknowledges the importance of knowledge about exiting solutions. Designers tend to employ solution oriented thinking strategies; they generate idea’s starting from initial solutions - called primary generators; they are known to rely on episodic knowledge and precedent throughout the design process; and they iterate frequently between the problem and solution space . This raises the question how such solutions, often in the form of existing designs are taught. Few design programs explicitly acknowledge existing solutions as part of the designers knowledge base, or specify, for example, what types of analyses designers should be able to perform on them. We believe design education could benefit from rethinking how their curricula handle solutions and from explicating this role. To this end we introduce the notion of ‘solution repertoire’. With this term we refer to the knowledge designers have of existing solutions. An analysis of the notion of solution repertoire helps us to identify and recognize solution oriented knowledge and its treatment in our schools. This, in turn, helps us to make more informed choices in our curriculum development.