Senthil Chandrasegaran, Sriram Karthik Badam, Ninger Zhou, Zhenpeng Zhao, Lorraine Kisselburgh, Kylie Peppler, Niklas Elmqvist, Karthik Ramani
Merging Sketches for Creative Design Exploration: An Evaluation of Physical and Cognitive Operations
In proceedings of the 2017 Graphics Interface Conference.

Abstract: Despite its grounding in creativity techniques, merging multiple source sketches to create new ideas has received scant attention in design literature. In this paper, we identify the physical operations that in merging sketch components. We also introduce cognitive operations of reuse, repurpose, refactor, and reinterpret, and explore their relevance to creative design. To examine the relationship of cognitive operations, physical techniques, and creative sketch outcomes, we conducted a qualitative user study where student designers merged existing sketches to generate either an alternative design, or an unrelated new design. We compared two digital selection techniques: freeform selection, and a stroke-cluster-based “object select” technique. The resulting merge sketches were subjected to crowdsourced evaluation of these sketches, and manual coding for the use of cognitive operations. Our findings establish a firm connection between the proposed cognitive operations and the context and outcome of creative tasks. Key findings indicate that reinterpret cognitive operations correlate strongly with creativity in merged sketches, while reuse operations correlate negatively with creativity. Furthermore, freeform selection techniques are preferred significantly by designers. We discuss the empirical contributions of understanding the use of cognitive operations during design exploration, and the practical implications for designing interfaces in digital tools that facilitate creativity in merging sketches.

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About Senthil Chandrasegaran

Senthil Chandrasegaran is a postdoctoral scholar in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park. His work focuses on the integration of computer support tools to aid collaborative sketching in early design. Senthil received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue, where his work at the C Design Lab focused on understanding collaboration in the conceptual stages of design, by developing visual analytics-based techniques to make sense of multimodal design protocol data. In a past life before graduate school, he also worked in the automotive industry, specializing in interior trim design, and then in the heavy engineering industry, specializing in structural analysis and knowledge-based engineering. His research interests include design pedagogy, information visualization, and specifically the integration of computer support tools to aid and understand design learning in the classroom.

Posted in 2017, Design Collaboration, Recent Publications, Senthil Chandrasegaran, Uncategorized