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authors Kokotovich, Vasilije and Purcell, Terry
year 2001
title Ideas - The Embodiment of Ideas, and Drawing: An Experimental Investigation of Inventing
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 term visual reasoning, in cognitive psychology, oftenrefers to the use of visual spatial relations in making inferences aboutcorresponding conceptual relations. The conclusion is that external visualrepresentations have special properties, which can aid reasoning abouthigher order abstract concepts. The design literature is more specific andoften sees visual reasoning as synonymous with drawing, and considersthis a core activity in resolving design problems. The research to bereported examined visual reasoning and design, by investigating the rolethat drawing plays in the practicality and creativity of inventions. Themost striking finding was that using only mental imagery produced morecreative and practical inventions than the use of drawing and that this wasdependant on the area of expertise of the participants. This appears to runcounter to the views found in both the visual reasoning and designliterature regarding the effectiveness of visual representations anddrawing. This has implications for our understanding of both the visualreasoning and design thinking processes.
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