Design Reductionism: Exploring the potential use of reduced and incomplete information acting as a prompt for designers’ imagination

Inoue, Shiro (2018) Design Reductionism: Exploring the potential use of reduced and incomplete information acting as a prompt for designers’ imagination. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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This thesis explores the potential impact in the use of incomplete information (i.e. the state of information that the viewer recognises is not yet ‘complete’) generated from reduced information (i.e. the state of information in which the constituents that dictate the fidelity of the information are decreased qualitatively and quantitatively), and how it affects an industrial designer’s imagination. Human cognition has the ability to interpret or infer meaning when they are confronted with incomplete information and can use this as a means of ideas generation within their cognitive reasoning. The cognitive evidence suggests that human cognition per se is able to read rich knowledge in incomplete information during a process of reasoning.

Within the design context, studies report that incompleteness of information plays a significant role in the designer’s imagination, particularly at the preliminary phase of the design process where they conceptualise ideas. Incomplete states of information, such as lack of clarity, uncertainty or ambiguity, act as a driving force for the designer’s idea development. This research explores the intersection between the cognitive ability and the designer’s tendency of utilising uncertainty as a creative resource, aiming at developing a set of visualised tools to support this.

This thesis reports on a collection of studies observing how incomplete information dictates the design practitioners’ reasoning, providing a series of tailored 2D and 3D "reductionist prompts." The results showed that reduced and incomplete information stimulated the design practitioners’ diverse imagination, and the act of autonomous reduction encouraged them to interact, elicit insights and consider, the subject from multiple perspectives.

This thesis highlights the potential and value of purposefully engaging with incomplete information derived from using a reductive approach. It proposes a set of reductionist tools that assist the designer’s reasoning, as well as developing a method of visualisation that represents these complex processes.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 10:21
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 22:23

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