Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Week 11: Cognitive artifacts and visual reasoning

Moving to a more situated cognition perspective - we are going to delve into what people call "cognitive artifacts" - e.g., artifacts through which people create meaning or interact with a situations "back-talk". While there are many ways to imagine a role for cognitive artifacts in design situations, we're going to primarily focus on the use of representations in design. The Fish and Scrivener piece delves into visual cognition, while the Cardella et al and Blanco papers give two examples in design settings. I added a very short reading on the idea of "evocative objects" as something to help you experience the idea of objects as...cognitive.
  • Fish, J and Scrivener, S. A. (1990) Amplifying the mind’s eye: Sketching and visual cognition. Leonardo, 23, 117-126. What are the "special attributes of sketching" as it relates to cognition (memory, reasoning, invention, etc.)? How might this play out in design situations?
  • Cardella, M., Atman, C.J. and Adams, R. (2006). Mapping between design activities and external representations for engineering student designers. Design Studies, 27, pp. 5-24. How are representations used in design? How does this relate to behaviors we associate with "high quality" designs?
  • Blanco, E. (2003). "Rough Drafts: Revealing and Mediating Design.” In D. Vinck (ed), Everyday Engineering: An Ethnography of Design and Innovation. Cambridge: MIT Press. What kinds of representations do designers create to help them design, and how do they use them (for what purpose)? How does Blanco make sense of this through a "cognitive artifact" lens?
  • Turkle, S. (2007). Evocative Objects: Things We Think With. Cambridge: MIT Press. Think of a particular object that has significance for you. For example, it may be something you use everday or something you reference as an important memory or "way of thinking". What is that object and what meaning does it hold for you? How does this help you imagine the role of cognitive artifacts in design?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Design as X Book on Blackboard

All the annotated bibliographies and overviews have been compiled into a Design as X resource book. You can get it off of Blackboard (in the Design as X folder). This is a group resource - but remember if you choose to cite any of this give full acknowledgement to the person who put together the summary :)