Creativity in Architecture Design Education: Design as Puzzle Solving

By Ali Javid.

Published by The International Journal of Design Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper is result of three-year experience in teaching architectural design processes and methods at the Islamic Azad University in Mashhad, Iran. The theory considers design as a process, started by problem seeking and ended by problem solving. Designing requires creative thinking; therefore, a non-linear structure is provided to achieve an appropriate basis for creativity in students. Design as a crossword puzzle makes it possible to generate new ideas, different thoughts, and integrate knowledge and perceptions to attain production of creative thinking. In this paper, we try to create a design process structure similar to a crossword puzzle to enhance creativity—though creativity cannot necessarily be taught, thinking visually can be learned through use of graphical representations like sketches, diagrams, and models—which are consequences of visual thinking exercises. Rising creativity in students’ minds causes integrated and unique thought in design. The main forming factors of the architectural design process, such as, site, program, structure, construction technology, were represented in the form of a crossword puzzle filled by sketches and diagrams. According to crossword puzzle structure, all diagrams and sketches (which fill the puzzle) are highly interactive and interrelated and also complementary. It causes students to reorganize their thoughts while problem solving, and also, to discover the relations between different parts and dimensions of design problem in order to achieve a unique and integrated solution.

Keywords: Creativity, Design, Puzzle-solving, Visual Thinking, Sketch, Diagram

The International Journal of Design Education, Volume 8, Issue 2, November 2014, pp.11-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.411MB).

Ali Javid

PhD Candidate, School of Architecture and Urbanism, Department of Architecture, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad Branch, Mashhad, Iran (Islamic Republic of)