How Materials Support Conceptual Blending in Ideation

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

While combining materials as sources of inspiration is a familiar strategy in design ideation, the intricacy of how materials affect the emergence of concepts has not been fully examined. This paper offers a detailed analysis of a sequence of a design ideation workshop using conceptual blending as an explanatory model to pry open the complexity of this activity, showing how research on design materials improves insight into how a design concept emerges. We show this empirically in a second-by- second analysis of a card-based design ideation episode using a multi-touch surface table. We offer process-analytical evidence for the case that manipulation of design materials helps stabilize an emerging concept, as conceptual blending research has shown by analyzing artifacts, and extend this work by showing the dynamic interplay between the emerging conceptual blend and participants’ collaborative interaction with the materials. Our study advances understanding of interaction with materials in design ideation and aims to facilitate future research on how materials support conceptual blending as a useful model of how design concepts emerge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 Design Research Society Conference (DRS 2018)
Number of pages15
Publication year25 Jun 2018
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 25 Jun 2018
EventThe Design Research Society Conference 2018 - University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Duration: 25 Jun 201828 Jun 2018


ConferenceThe Design Research Society Conference 2018
LocationUniversity of Limerick

    Research areas

  • Design materials, conceptual blending, sources of inspiration, ideation

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