The influence of a designers’ mind-set on their design process and design outcomes

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Mind-sets are expected to influence the process of designing, which require designers to successfully integrate complex decision-making processes into good design solutions. The study reported here analyses whether differences in mind-sets shown by design students can influence their design processes and impact the quality of the design solutions that they produce. The considerations, design activities and quality of solutions that design students produced in response to a given design task are examined to make an inference of mind-sets in actual design situations. 45 undergraduate students majoring in industrial design filled in a questionnaire that assessed their mind-set, and engaged in a design task. Two general types of mindsets can be discerned empirically: discerning and opportunistic. Significant differences between design students with a discerning or opportunistic mind-set could be observed. Evidence for the cultivation of a discerning mind-set in designing is found. Building on these results, recommendations on how to potentially support design teaching and learning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Design Education
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Creativity
  • Design education
  • Designer mind-sets
  • Mind-sets in design learning
  • Quality of design solutions

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