Problem framing and cognitive style: Impacts on design ideation perceptions

Eli M. Silk, Amy E. Rechkemmer, Shanna R. Daly, Kathryn W. Jablokow, Seda McKilligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Designers' engagement in ideation is impacted by their perceptions of the parameters of the design task. Whereas expert designers actively interrogate and reframe given problems, novice designers tend to solve them as given. We investigated novice designers' perceptions of their ideas relative to problem frames and their cognitive styles. We found that innovative styles and framings corresponded to higher perceptions of idea diversity and creativity, whereas adaptive framings corresponded to lower perceptions of idea creativity and perceptions of greater difficulty generating ideas. Novice designers may hold implicit theories of creativity that undervalue adaptive creativity. However, problem frames that misalign with a novice's preferred cognitive style can impact their ideation, and so hold promise for challenging their initial interpretations and approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101015
JournalDesign Studies
StatePublished - May 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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