Towards constructive design feedback dialogues: guiding peer and client feedback to stimulate children’s creative thinking

Alice Schut*, Maarten Van Mechelen, Remke M. Klapwijk, Mathieu Gielen, Marc J. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Design feedback is an essential pedagogical tool that can help young novice designers nav-igate divergent and convergent paths while designing. However, design feedback is often met with resistance, which counteracts its potential to help novice designers evaluate their design and generate new solution directions. In this paper, we report on the construction and utilization of a design feedback intervention during a real-life design project with a group of primary school children (aged 8–12). The goal of the intervention was to stimu-late young novice designers’ creative thinking by guiding the design feedback dialogues with their peers and clients. The intervention was designed according to the following key principles: (1) guide towards a shared understanding of the design through low-level convergent feedback, (2) stimulate critical reflection and evaluation of the design to help identify and internalize possible shortcomings through high-level convergent feedback, and (3) provide a way to move forward by guiding new generative thoughts through high-level divergent feedback. Overall, the results show that the intervention can support young novice designers, their peers, and clients in engaging in constructive feedback dialogues, thereby stimulating their creative thinking. Our main contribution entails a detailed under-standing of the successes and obstacles within the feedback dialogues, as guided by the intervention. Based on these results, we propose a set of refined design principles to inform feedback interventions. With this research we hope to give insight in the complexity of design feedback dialogues, while also inspiring design educators to actively try out these key principles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Design Education
Pages (from-to)99-127
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Design feedback
  • Divergen thinking
  • Convergent thinking
  • Design fixation
  • Creative thinking
  • Design and technology education
  • K-12 education
  • Creativity Research
  • Design Research
  • CCTD
  • #CCTD
  • D&T education
  • Divergent thinking


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