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Title: Semantic Fluency in Design Reasoning
During design, different forms of reasoning shape the designers’ decision-making. As a result, the ability to fluently transition across various forms of reasoning is essential. The purpose of this study is two-fold: first is to introduce and explain the concept of Semantic Fluency in Design Reasoning, as the ability to transition across multiple forms of reasoning fluently. To identify these transitions, this study used the Design Reasoning Quadrants framework, which represents four quadrants: experiential observations (reasoning based on observations and experiences), trade-offs (reasoning recognizing multiple competing design requirements), first-principles (reasoning requiring disciplinary understandings), and complex abstractions (reasoning in envisioning new situations). The second purpose of this study is to illustrate semantic fluency in a design review conversation. We selected and presented three different forms of transitions identified through our analysis of conversations between students and design reviewers. Our analysis revealed evidence of semantic fluency in young designers. Mike, one of the students, demonstrated fluency across three quadrants (experiential observations, trade-offs, and first-principles). Lisa and David demonstrated two-quadrant transitions. Lisa had fluency from experiential observations to trade-offs, and David transitioned from experiential observations to first-principles. We recommend the intentional use of design reviews to elicit student reasoning in design and adopt questioning strategies more » to promote fluency across different forms of design reasoning. « less
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International journal of engineering education
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National Science Foundation
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