A Quasi-Linear Model Of Design Cognition

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Nduduzo Phuthi
Krishan Lall Kumar
Olefile Bethuel Molwane


Learning theories, Behaviour learning, Cognitive learning, and Constructive learning


The continuum of human learning has been the subject of research by behaviourists, cognitivists, constructivists and lately by neural scientists among others.  The style and order of learning have also been identified, notably by Benjamin Bloom et al (1956) and Gagne and Briggs (1992).  Skills-learning has been the subject of attention in competency-based learning strategies. Yet another milestone in the continuum of learning is to be innovative and creative, which enables a learner to conceive and design new objects and concepts. Design cognition is an under-explored faculty of humankind.  Human capability to design appears to be a complex phenomenon influenced by several factors, implicitly or explicitly, such as socio-educational background, learning to think innovatively, interaction with innovators and creators, exercising initiative, experimenting with new ideas, creating designs with confidence and finally moving into seeking design patents and making commercial use of design. In this paper the authors develop first a linear model of acquiring design capability and then modify it to a quasi linear model after validation by interaction with a sample of design students and design professionals through analysis and reflection on questionnaire responses with both qualitative and quantitative data. The proposed model promises to be a useful tool for design educators in several overlapping areas of design.


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