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authors Logie, Robert H.
year 2001
title Working Memory: A Mental Space for Design and Discovery
source J. S. Gero, B. Tversky and T. Purcell (eds), 2001, Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design, II - Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition, University of Sydney, Australia
summary The design process can be viewed as the product of human creativethinking; the skills of generating new knowledge from old within theexternal constraints of the items to be designed. Expert designers have highlevel skills that assist them in this process. However design effectivenessand the training of design skills could benefit from an understanding of howhuman cognition undertakes the process of creative thinking without suchspecialist training, and what aspects of human cognition impede or enhancethis process. In this paper, I shall discuss some of the empirical researchand theoretical developments that have contributed to an understanding ofon-line visual and spatial cognition that might support creative thinking.The paper starts with a discussion of a particular theoretical frameworkreferred to as working memory, and some of the empirical work that hasused this framework to explore visual and spatial cognitive functions. Thisdiscussion will set the background of the general thesis for the chapter thatvisual and spatial aspects of working memory might play important roles increative thinking and design. This will lead to a discussion of the ways inwhich human working memory and the use of external aids to thinkingmight facilitate or constrain aspects of the creative process. The paper willend with a discussion of why human beings might have developed a workingmemory system, with the possibility that its primary purpose is to supportthe process of generating new knowledge.
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