Identity and affect in design cognition

2017-08-17T10:12:28Z (GMT) by Tom Crick John McCardle
Much Design Research effort has been afforded to investigating how designers think and what they do; often in the form of protocol analysis. These investigations have mainly focused on how designers influence material culture however, little attention has been paid to another line of enquiry; that is how the act of designing affects the individual undertaking the work and the role of social psychological phenomena e.g. attitudes, evaluations, emotions, impressions, motivations and social behaviour - on design activity. This interplay of affect between design activity and a designer’s social psychological behaviour is a complex two way process that warrants further investigation. Our research agenda focuses on the individual undertaking design activity and asks how does designing affect the designer and their behaviour? In this paper two issues are addressed: 1. The immediate effects of design activity on the designer 2. The role of self-concept in design cognition These two issues are investigated through a series of experiments carried out under semicontrolled conditions using several forms of observation and novel self-concept inventories. This paper draws attention to the need to consider self-concept and affect in design cognition and introduces the idea of design identity, which is uniquely different to the concept of design experience often quoted in the literature. This is an area of the ongoing research agenda within the Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University, UK.