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Understanding design creativity through pretense ability [ITU J Faculty Arch]
ITU J Faculty Arch. Articles in Press: ITUJFA-32815 | DOI: 10.5505/itujfa.2021.32815  

Understanding design creativity through pretense ability

Derya Gürcan1, Deniz Leblebici Basar2
1Program of Industrial Product Design, Graduate School, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey
2Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey

In cognitive psychology literature design activity is commonly described as a creative problem-solving process. This process is a transformative way of thinking, involving re-imagining the problem as set of possible states and creating alternative solutions to achieve the requirements of the problem space. Creative thinking is the main skill that facilitates the design process. Pretend play, in the context of developmental theories, is limited to early childhood and seen as the foundation of adult creativity. It is associated with the notion of affordances which is related to the “seeing as if ” ability. This study aims to identify similar cognitive processes between designers’ creative problem-solving and pretense ability and uses a designing activity to present how pretense, seeing as if, may exist in adulthood. To identify the features and similarities of childhood pretense and design process, first a comparative scheme was conceptualized and illustrated. Second, based on our “affordance-based pretense framework of design creativity,” an experiment was designed to examine the relation of pretense (acting as if) ability to creativity measures. 52 participants completed a series of experimental tasks including a creative mental synthesis task and an alternate use test (AUT). Both Kruskal-Wallis H and Mann-Whitney U Tests showed that participants performing affordance-based pretense framework of design creativity tasks received higher creativity scores which suggests that exhibited higher degrees of creativity in terms of being able to see affordances in their object forms.

Keywords: Affordances, Creativity, Design, Design process, Pretend play.

Corresponding Author: Deniz Leblebici Basar, Türkiye

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