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My name is Hernan Casakin, I am an architect and
a Ph.D student at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. I am
currently working in research as well as teaching design in the Faculty of
Architecture and Town Planning.
Because I am close to finishing my Ph.D dissertation, which is planned to
be ready in September 1997, I have started to look for a Post Doctoral
Research Position. I would like to contact you regarding the possibility
of continuing with my studies in a University or Research Centre.
My research is in the areas of Design and Cognitive Psychology, and my
dissertation is entitled: "The Role of Visual Analogy in Architectural
Design". My advisor is Professor Gabriela Goldschmidt.
I would welcome an opportunity to investigate on any of the following
- Design Problem Solving
- Creativity in Design
- The use of Visual Analogy in Design Problem Solving
- The Role of Imagery in Design Problem Solving
- The Role of Sketching in Design Problem Solving
- Computational Models of Design
- Any other subject in the domain of Design and Cognitive Psychology
Any information about Pos-Doctoral research, as well as
any other CONTACT that you may know about will be greatly appreciated. -
I should like to add that my Masters Thesis dealt heavily with computation
(Modeling Design as a Top-Down Refinement Process).
Thank you very much in advance for your help, and please read the abstract
of my current dissertation and feel free to make comments about it.
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning
"The Role of Analogy in Architectural Design"
Abstract about my current dissertation
The problem-solving literature distinguishes between well-structured and
ill-structured problems. While well-structured problems have completely
well-defined initial requirements and involve a limited set of possible
solutions, ill-structured problems do not have clearly defined initial
conditions and may include a set of unlimited solutions. Design problems
are often cited as prime examples of ill-defined problems (e.g., Gero &
Maher, 1993; Goel, 1995).
Analogical reasoning is seen by cognitive scientists as an effective
heuristic to be used in the solving of ill-defined problems such as design
problems. In analogical reasoning information is transferred from a known
domain, called source or base, to a situation that needs explaining or
solving, referred to as target (e.g. Vosniadou and Ortony, 1989; Gentner,
1983; Holyoak and Thagard, 1989). An analogy can be identified when
relations between elements in a source are mapped onto the target, where
not all elements are known.
Analogical reasoning has been shown to play a significant role in creative
thinking in a variety of domains. In many documented cases the analogies
are basically visual. In design, visual analogy is used as a powerful
problem-solving strategy (Goldschmidt, 1994; 1995). This may be in part due
to the extensive exposure of designers to visual displays in the process of
designing. However, in design as in other fields, evidence of analogical
reasoning is still mostly anecdotal.
In this work a series of controlled experiments was conducted in order to
examine whether analogy indeed enhances design problem-solving. Novice and
experienced designers solved well and ill-defined design problems, with and
without exposure to visual displays. The results show clearly that analogy
is of assistance in design problem-solving.
Possible Future Research
This work focused on analogical reasoning and placed special interest in
understanding the function of analogy and visual displays in design
problem solving. Nevertheless, a detailed study involving cognitive
mechanisms related to the use of deep analogies and surface analogies in
design has not yet been addressed. In future research we would like to
determine if the ability to identify, retrieve and transfer surface
structures as well as deep structures of knowledge during the process of
analogical reasoning can be related to design skill and experience.
Although the use of external representations in the form of visual
displays has been explored throughout this research, no specific study has
been executed regarding the implications of employing within-domain and
between-domain displays in design problem solving. Furthermore, it will be
important to explore whether expertise triggers within-domain or
between-domain analogies. Although design was considered a highly
suitable domain for the study of analogical problem solving and
creativity, no comprehensive research has been carried out in this area.
We believe that a study of the use of analogical reasoning and its
relation with creative skills, will enable to gain more insight in design.
Regarding visual thinking, studies performed in problem solving have
emphasized the important role of sketching. In the design domain,
sketching was considered a most suitable instrument for representation and
assessment of alternative candidate design forms. Much research has been
done in the realm of vision, but sketching in design problem solving has
not captured the attention of cognitive science. A great deal of research
has yet to be accomplished regarding the role of sketching through the use
of visual analogies in design.