We all agreed that the graph on p74 of Designerly Ways of Knowing(Cross) was excellent. In particular, the idea that framing and re-framing the problem is as a necessary step for successful problem solving.
The creative leap is really a bridge. Working with prior knowledge, decomposing problems into sub-problems, and exploring possible sub-solution, we can make a bridge to the solution.
As soon as we start down the path of a sub-solution we better define our problem, narrowing the possibilities of potential solutions.
The idea that design requires "creative genius" is a myth. The process of problem solving in inherent in all of us. By our very nature, humans are engineers. We have spent thousands of years inventing solutions to problems. What is different between an accomplished engineer and a middle school engineer is not the cognitive process (generate - model - evaluate) but how sophisticated that process has become. A novice engineer (as all of us are at the beginning) has no practice in utilizing these inherent skills and has less domain knowledge than other more experienced designers. The evaluation methods of Sheinman are far superior to that of a middle school designer. The fact is the cognitive processes of a middle school will never be as sophisticated as that of a vetran designer.
It is our job as educators to tease out this inherent process and help students to create a more sophisticated process, help them to think about their thinking.
Students are more likely to use mutation, analogy, and combination as methods to a solution - this is because of their limited domain knowledge.
Experienced designers are more likely to start from first principles.
Something that I didn't get a chance to bring up in class was the concept that as we acquire more domain there is a tendency to become less innovative. I thought of this while reading the sewing machine example in chapter 5. Perhaps what separates a great designer from an average designer is the ability to gain great domain knowledge and still retain their creativity?
How do we, as educators, foster the development of domain knowledge while still preserving this quality? For me is almost seems that the one great quality of working with inexperienced designers is that they have no fear of failure and pursue amazing and innovative ideas.