Overcoming design fixation through education and creativity methods
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Howard, Thomas J.; Maier, Anja M.; Onarheim, Balder; Friis-Olivarius, Morten
Institution: 1: Technical University of Denmark, Denmark; 2: Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
This paper reports an experiment on the topic design fixation using 12 teams of masters students working on three design problems from (Jansson and Smith 1991). The objective of the experiment is to determine the effectiveness of two interventions to help overcome fixation on example solutions. The first intervention consisted of educating each team on the phenomena and effects of design fixation. The results showed that this intervention reduced the number of fixation elements in comparison to the control group (p=0.025). The second intervention involved using Dix et alsâ (2006) âBad Ideasâ method during a final design task. The results showed that the method did not help the teams as it caused the fixation ratio to increase and the number of ideas per team to decrease. In addition to the above mentioned interventions, the experiment also revealed a negative correlation between the number of ideas produced per group and the groupsâ fixation ratios, adding to the quantity breads novelty debate. Finally, the study also provided further evidence of the hypothesis by AgoguÃ© et al (2011) that example solutions constructed from restrictive partitions have a greater fixation affect.