Skip to Main Content
Summary form only given. Studies of design activities have revealed identifies differences in the engagement in problem framing activities. The studies on categorization, feature, and relation of different kinds of design activities have revealed different forms of participation and support. It has been broadly agreed that paper-based sketching helps designers engage in the design process, yet the ways in which digital design tools remains less clear, in spite of the increased prominence they have claimed in design processes. Typically these tools have been used in supporting discrete problem solving processes or in presentations. For their potentials to be realized, however, we need to engage them more deeply in design exploration. The position has been taken that digital tools inhibit design communication between mind and hand, interrupting 'problem framing' activities. Such statements encourage a reluctance in the use of digital tools to aid the act of designing, especially in creative design processes. This attitude has also influenced the teaching and use of digital tools in design education. Not all evidence supports this position. Previous studies have shown that digital tools can afford high level communication that contributes to successful design and design learning. Recognizing that different design tools have their distinct affordances, it can be postulated that design students using digital media can engage in different processes compared to using paper media.
Date of Conference: 26-28 April 2007