Perspectives of the role of the body in the design process : observations from an experiment
Author(s)Charles, Patrick P. (Patrick Paul), 1963-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
William F. Porter.
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This thesis explores the role of the body in the design process. Its underlying assumptions are that there is bodily thinking in the design process, and that observing what designers draw, tell and do/gesture, can tell us something of the design process at large. A design-task-based experiment involving three student designers was run. The analysis of the data (video, sketches and transcripts) of the trials shows that the activity of design is grounded in part by our bodily existence, and in our power of acting and perceiving. The thesis presents the hypothesis that the hand itself imposes certain limitations. It also presents examples of inter working of the body and the mind in design activities like measuring and dimensioning, framing the problem verbally, and engaging the artifact through the actual environment. The thesis insists on the idea that our body is at the interface between the world and our multimodal self. It is through the body that we construct external representations (embodied in drawings or gestures) that are essential to the design thinking process. The conclusion considers how these observations should impact design inquiry undertakings, in particular the necessity of fostering a more global view that includes the role played by the body in the design process/thinking.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2000.Includes bibliographical references (p. 110).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology