Enhancing creativity by demonstrating individual vulnerability to fixation
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Creative design behaviour can be inhibited by fixation and so reducing the risk of fixation is a focus of much design creativity research. Research in other fields indicates that an effective way of encouraging people to guard against a risk is to demonstrate that they, as individuals, are vulnerable to those risks. To study the effect of demonstrating individual vulnerability to fixation, we conducted an online experimental study using number and word tasks that are known to induce fixation. The first task was used to provide a ‘demonstrated vulnerability’ treatment (revealing the participants’ own fixated behaviour to them) and to provide the explanation for a comparable ‘asserted vulnerability’ treatment (warning participants about general fixation effects). In the subsequent creative task, the ‘demonstrated vulnerability’ group outperformed those in the ‘asserted vulnerability’ group and also those in a control group.
Brain Activity in Constrained and Open Design Spaces: An EEG study
1Politecnico di Milano, Italy; 2UNCC, Charlotte, NC; 3INEGI FEUP, Portugal; 4FEUP, Portugal
Creativity is widely recognized as an essential skill for changing the design space from constrained to open spaces. This study measures brain activation related to activity between those spaces by comparing the neurophysiological activation of 18 professional industrial designers in two prototypical tasks, a problem-solving constrained layout task and an open design task. The analysis focused on stages of the constrained and open design spaces, namely, reading and problem-solving, sketching and reflection. We look at the cognitive demand in closed and open spaces and how it translates in brain activation. Results indicate significant differences in activations between the problem-solving task and the design task. The results provide further evidence to discriminate between activities when designing and problem-solving. In particular, reading open or closed requests seems to evoke different levels of perception and conception, prompting designers to change their solution space, which translates in expanded activation in the open design task.
An analysis of socio-cognitive activities during co-creative design supported by spatialized augmented reality
This study investigate the mechanisms by which spatialized augmented reality (SAR) technology can affect socio-cognitive processes in groups involved in co-creative design sessions. A protocol analysis has been conducted to investigate three different design session involving eperienced designers and end-userson a product design task: a design session supported by classic design representations (no augmented reality), a design session supported by non-spatialized augmented reality (AR), and a session supported by SAR technology. While results don’t show that SAR or AR technology increase end-user/client implication, they illustrate the ability for these technologies to allow browsing through more ideas during a co-creative design session. Furthermore, it tends to reduce time spent on ideas, compared to a traditionnal session. We also noted that introduction of these different technologies does not modify the profiles of the sessions in terms of cognitive activities. This tends to demonstrate that the technology does not impair the design activities.
Sustaining creativity with neuro-cognitive feedback: a preliminary study
1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA; 2Department of Computer Science and School of Architecture, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA; 3AAU-CRENAU, Graduate School of Architecture, Nantes, France
Ideation is a key phase in engineering design and brainstorming is an established method during ideation. The proposal of ideas tends to peak at the beginning of the brainstorming process and quickly decreases over time. In this preliminary study, we tested an innovative solution to sustain ideation by providing engineering designers feedback about their neuro-cognition. We used a novel neuro-imaging technique called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to monitor engineering design students during a brainstorming task. Half were given real-time feedback about their brain activation. Our results show that these students applied more cognitive effort in the region of the brain generally associated with memory retrieval and making associations compared to the control group of students that were not provided neuro-feedback. Students that received neuro-feedback also generated significantly more concepts over time and displayed a higher fluency of engineering design solutions.