ON THE SUPERIORITY OF OPPORTUNISTIC DESIGN STRATEGIES DURING EARLY EMBODIMENT DESIGN
The prescriptive tradition of German Design Methodology has been challenged by the results of empirical research showing that strict hierarchical approaches can hardly be found in real design processes. Thus, many authors come up with proposals of more flexible procedures. But do these strategies enhance design performance? To answer this question, we investigated individual design procedures of N=71 engineering design students to determine the applicability of Design Methodology in early design stages. We could approve that an opportunistic and associative design procedure is vast superior to a strict hierarchical approach and seems to optimal to cope with the complexity of design problems and to reduce ‘cognitive load’ in problem solving.