AROUND YOU: HOW DESIGNERS GET INSPIRED
DS 68-7: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 7: Human Behaviour in Design, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Badke-Schaub, P.
Author: Gonçalves, Milene Guerreiro; Cardoso, Carlos; Badke-Schaub, Petra
Section: Human Behaviour in Design
Searching for sources for inspiration during the design process is a widespread activity and it is considered as a crucial step for most designers, independent of the degree of expertise. However, little is known about what designers use as sources for inspiration, and how they process such information to generate ideas and solve design problems. Whilst previous investigations have shown both the positive and negative effects of using particular visual sources for inspiration, there is a lack of information on other types of stimuli designers might use during idea generation. This paper presents the results of a questionnaire on novice and expert designers’ preference regarding inspirational sources. Additionally, this study also encompasses both groups’ selection of ideation methods for the generation of creative design solutions. Results show that whilst there are similarities between novices’ and experts’ responses, there are also clear differences in how they make use of available resources during idea generation. These findings unveil possible repercussions for design education on how designers search for inspiration.