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Kwok Yin Angelina Lo
How Children Design: Observational Study of Children's Design Process

This research aims to investigate children’s conception of and behaviours during a design process for implications on future pedagogies in creativity development. A mixed methods approach was adopted for a three-part empirical study on how children conceived design (1057 research subjects); their design process as co-experienced by their parents (10 families); and their behaviour during an adult-non-directed design task (nine 9-year-old children). Findings reveal that children conceive design as both a process (constructive and social) and a product (with specific purpose); and as human efforts to alter and anticipate changes for desired results. Children’s design processes are individualised (uniquely different from each other); improvised (playful, concurrent and in an intuitive combination of 2D/3D making, thinking aloud and testing); and ideating with hands (children’s preferred way to generate ideas is to ‘think-while-tinker’ with tangible materials through 3D Make/Model).


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