Experimental study on the associations among sketches based on cognitive behaviors

[+] Author and Article Information
Ping Yuan

School of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, Sichuan 610065, China

Yan Li

School of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, No.24 South Section 1, Yihuan Road, Chengdu, 610065, China

Jian Chen

Department of Engineering, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, United Kingdom

Yan Xiong

School of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, Sichuan 610065, China

Longfan Liu

School of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, Sichuan University, Sichuan 610065, China

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4040627 History: Received January 09, 2018; Revised June 15, 2018


Existing studies on the associations among the sketches generated in conceptual design stage is far from adequate, since they are mainly based on the principles of graphics. This paper attempts to investigate the generation mechanism of pairwise associated sketches and different associated types through experimental analysis on the cognitive behaviors of designers. A verbal protocol analysis was carried out on three groups of participants from different major and experience background levels. Their verbal data during completing a specific design task and their final outcome sketches were collected. Next, according to the content-oriented encoding scheme, the verbal data was encoded into cognitive actions, and the encoding results were also post-processed for the further analysis on associated sketches. Firstly, we found out which cognitive actions play important roles in the generation of associated sketches. Next, based on encoding results and analysis on all generated associated sketches, we revealed that there are three types of associations, and the association levels from low to high are, shape association, behavior association and function association. Furthermore, by analyzing cognitive actions of different designer groups, we found that the differences in major background has no significant effect on the number of associated sketches, but has some influence on the diversity of association types, and the difference in experience background mainly influences the number of associated sketches in each type of association. The findings provide a foundation for future developing a comprehensive cognitive action-based sketching supporting system for designers with various backgrounds.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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