Poles Apart: Discerning and opportunistic mind-sets in design learning

Basyarah Hamat

    Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

    34 Downloads (Pure)


    Mind-sets play an important role in orienting the decisions and activities that an individual engages in when he or she is designing, and designing involves interaction with complex, open-ended and ambiguous situations. This means that the individual disposition of a person influences the way that he or she reacts, and in designing, the complexity of the conditions that the individual interacts with, can increase due to the nature of the design problems. The processes that an individual engages in while designing is in turn, expected to influence the quality of design solutions that he or she produces.

    This thesis focusses on investigating the phenomena of mind-sets in the context of design and design learning, and its effects on the process of designing and quality of design solutions. Prevalent mind-sets that design students have toward design learning are identified and examined. Two categories of mind-sets are proposed, validated and tested across three different empirical studies. The two categories of mind-sets include the discerning and opportunistic mind-sets. Distinct differences between the two mind-sets provide significant insights toward the effects of mind-sets on the process and quality of outcomes in designing. Findings from these studies carry implications and recommendations for design education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Delft University of Technology
    • Badke-Schaub, P.G., Supervisor
    • Schoormans, J.P.L., Supervisor
    • Eisenbart, B., Advisor
    Award date25 Jan 2018
    Print ISBNs978-94-6186-882-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • mind sets
    • design learning
    • designing

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