Developing technology students’ hierarchical thinking during iterative processes of designing through sketching activities
Keywords:Hierarchical thinking, Design representations, Iterative processes of designing
The development of students' hierarchical thinking during iterative processes of designing through sketching activities is a crucial part of design education as it supports the connection between students’ design intentions and its material embodiment. To this end, this paper discusses how different types of sketching activities can facilitate the development of hierarchical thinking in design activities. In this paper, we define hierarchical thinking as the ability to move between abstract and concrete representations through varying levels of specificity as well as the journey from global to specific representations. Doing this, we explore how using different sketching activities can allow students to explore a range of design intentions and physical embodiments at different levels of abstraction and detail. The paper also discusses how the idea of hierarchical thinking can support design educators to teach students to engage with their design processes more productively on a need-to-know basis. By teaching students to move between different levels of abstraction and detail effectively, teachers can support students to develop a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of their designerly processes. Overall, this article highlights the importance of modelling through sketching and hierarchical thinking in design education and practice.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Nicolaas Blom, Donal Canty, Diarmaid Lane, Sean O'Connor
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