Loughborough University
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An empirical investigation of the relationship of CAD use in designing and creativity through a creative behaviours framework

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posted on 2010-09-03, 08:58 authored by Aede Hatib Musta'amal
This thesis reports a study of the relationship of CAD use in designing and creativity through a Creative Behaviours Framework. This thesis provides a description of the establishment of a framework for gathering empirical evidence to support the analysis of links between CAD and creativity. The Creative Behaviours Framework consists of seven categories including novelty, appropriateness, motivation, fluency, flexibility, sensitivity, and insightfulness. The framework was developed from published literature largely relating to the area of cognitive psychology. The research reports findings concerning the use of this framework in analysing the use of CAD at Loughborough University and involved four postgraduates, two finalist undergraduates, and the researcher s own design project. Multiple data gathering methods including interviews, observations, protocol analysis, and design diaries have been used in this study to provide data reliability and validity. The results demonstrate the occurrence of creative behaviours in relation to the use of CAD when designing. Most of the categories had a significant number of occurrences observed and identified in the case studies using the data gathering methods (in particular protocol analysis and design diaries). However, novelty was only reported from the design diaries in Case studies 1 and 2. Some findings that linked the emergence of xvi creative characteristics of product outcomes with CAD usage were also established from data analysis of the design diaries. Hence, a key research output is the development of a framework which enabled researchers to observe and identify creative behaviours whilst CAD was used in designing. This framework has shown its reliability by also capturing creative behaviours in other than CAD activities such as 2D sketching and 3D sketch modelling. The findings from Case studies 1 and 2 indicated that creative behaviours were consistently identified during the observations of these design modelling activities. It shows that the Creative Behaviours Framework is not exclusively useful to observe creative behaviours during CAD use, but can also be applied in identifying these behaviours in other designing activities. An online questionnaire explored whether this framework could also be useful in wider application such as in supporting teachers in developing effective classroom and studio practice to encourage the emergence of creative behaviours by their students. The research study (using case studies and paper questionnaires) was undertaken with students of the Design and Technology Department, Loughborough University and the findings could be biased to this particular population. Hence, the online questionnaire was carried out with Malaysian CAD users to provide broader feedback. Although there was a small number of responses received from Malaysia, the data still provided a useful foundation to make the comparison between the UK and Malaysian CAD users perceptions about the relationship between creativity, in particular creative behaviours and the use of CAD in designing.



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© Aede Hatib Musta’amal

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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