The Exploration of Solution Options in Design: A ‘Naturalistic Decision Making’ Perspective.

Ball, Linden J. and Lambell, Nicola J. and Reed, Sue E. and Reid, Fraser J. M. (2001) The Exploration of Solution Options in Design: A ‘Naturalistic Decision Making’ Perspective. In: Design in Context: Proceedings of the Fifth Design Thinking Research Symposium - DTRS-. Delft University Press, Delft, The Netherlands.

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This paper examines how a ‘naturalistic decision making’ (NDM) approach to understanding cognitive processing in complex, real-world environments may facilitate an improved theoretical interpretation of solution-generation and solution-evaluation in design. In reviewing research that has investigated solution exploration in design, we contrast studies of individual designers with studies of team-based activity. We propose that both individual and collaborative design is based around the application of a dominant satisficing approach to solution exploration, and we discuss how the satisficing that is seen in design situations mirrors decision-making strategies observed in a wide range of NDM contexts. In line with the NDM framework, we argue for a view of satisficing as being adaptive and efficient in ill-defined and dynamic contexts such as professional design. We conclude with an overview of the prospects for an NDM account of design, focusing particularly on avenues for future studies of the solution-exploration processes that underpin design expertise in collaborative contexts.

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01 Aug 2008 13:44
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12 Sep 2023 01:00