Factors That Shape Design Thinking

Colin M. Gray
2013, Vol. 18, No. 3,


A wide range of design literature discusses the role of the
studio and its related pedagogy in the development of
design thinking. Scholars in a variety of design disciplines
pose a number of factors that potentially affect this
development process, but a full understanding of these
factors as experienced from a critical pedagogy or student
perspective is lacking. In this study, the experiences of six
first-year design students were examined as they evolved
in their conceptions of design. Data was collected during a
series of three interviews. Analysis of data confirmed and
recontextualized factors identified in the literature.
Additional factors relating to group work, culture shock,
critique, individual versus group identity, and the design
influence of professors, mentors, and curricula are
identified and reported. Opportunities for future research
are identified.


Design & technology ; Education ; Research ; Curriculum

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