How architecture and engineering students conceptualize design creation: Report of a pilot study

Shannon Chance, Technological University Dublin
Mike Miminiris, Anglia Ruskin University
Ines Direito, University College London
John E. Mitchell, University College London
Emanuela Tilley Tilley, University College London

Document Type Conference Paper

American Society for Engineering Education, Tampa, Florida, 15 Jun 2019 - 19 Jun 2019.


This study uses phenomenographic research methodologies to identify qualitatively different ways engineering and architecture students conceptualize design creation; it seeks to discover if and how their conceptualizations of design creation relate to their conceptualizations of knowledge generation. This work extends prior research by King and Kitchener (1994) and others (Baxter Magolda, 1992; Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule, 1986; Hofer & Pintrich, 2002; Perry, 1970) about the ways students develop increasingly sophisticated ways of: understanding and conceptualizing knowledge; sources of truth; how to evaluate various opinions and points-of-view; and ways to assess truthfulness and validity of new ideas. This project stems from the proposition that this development process manifests itself somewhat differently in fields that deal with physical sciences than in those grounded in the social sciences—the realm where these theories were established and defined. King and Kitchener (1994) have shown that conceptualizations of knowledge vary from one field to the next, yet little if any work has been done to assess and compare patterns of conceptualizations in the fields of architecture and engineering.