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id ddss9502
authors Wang, Ming-Hung and Chao, Hua-Yu
year 1994
title Spatial Schemata and Design Competence: A Case of Beginning Designers
source Second Design and Decision Support Systems in Architecture & Urban Planning (Vaals, the Netherlands), August 15-19, 1994
summary In the course of learning professional skills in architectural design, students will develop, usually with the help of instructors, certain ways of analyzing spatial relations. Such spatial schemes are considered critical means to the comprehension of the graphical representations of spaces, and therefore schemes of different kind will have different effects on design performance. This study intends to explore this issue. Three sets of experiments are conducted to test our working hypotheses as stated as follows: (i) to reproduce a plane graphic requires knowledge and skills different from those to recognize; (ii) some schemes are more effective than others in reproducing plane graphics; (iii) the kind of schemes that can effectively reproducing given forms (in plane graphics) can also have positive effects on design capabilities. It is interesting to further differenti-ate the kinds of schemes and their power as design tools. All these experiments employ three kinds of spatial schemes: the categorical, the referential, and the hierarchical from the results we can reach the following conclusions: (i) reconstruction is a different mental activity from recognition which is mainly a comparison between the input data and the known characteristics reconstruction relies more on the structured relations among data that should be established in the course of recognition. Therefore, effective cognition is a part of design competence; (ii) categori-cal schema is found most effective in recognition test. The quality of this type has to do with the quality of its contents. Referential schema can effectively relate elements to one another and to the context in which they are located. This schema contributes to the quality of spatial compositions. Hierarchical schemata are more general that can help identify dependent relations among elements, and therefore reduce the complexity. Conceivably this can increase the efficiency of problem-solving in design.
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