Pelin Koçkan Özyıldız, Pelin Yıldız



Creativity as an outcome of our thoughts and actions is a controversial concept that has been discussed by many disciplines in different ways. In the light of cognitive research on creativity, this study aims to deal with the components of the idea generation process specific to interior design education. Based on the study conducted in the interior design studio, this paper introduces the infographic model of design thinking. the main purpose of the model is to summarize how design students initiate the design process, create their own design ideas, and also how they lead design thinking for a spatial solution.


The cross-disciplinary research paper within the context of the psychological studies on creative cognition consists of a detailed analysis of the design process in the design studio. A case study was conducted in the second-year undergraduate interior design studio at Hacettepe University in order to observe the students’ experiences during one semester. In the wake of this qualitative research, the data obtained from 15 design students selected have been analyzed gradually and a design thinking model has been generated with the findings.


In addition to the interpretation of the creativity models from the literature, initial analyses showed that design thinking can be explained in three main stages as preparation, conceptualization, and spatialization that underlie the internal and external process of design thinking in the design studio. With subsequent analyses, these stages have been divided into different strategical layers according to students’ experiences. As a result, the infographic model of the design thinking process is structured based on the evaluations of these components and the design approaches identified.

Research Limitations/Implications

The data acquired from the case study undertaken by the author were compared so as to identify the similarities and diversities of these processes. More research on different stages of the design process can shed more light on design thinking. In addition to this, qualitative data are based on a small group of students to get detailed information about the process. The proposed model can be adapted for different studies in the context of the design studio with more participants.

Practical/Social Implications

The proposed model in the research is intended to be used as a content map that shows the alternative ways of thinking in design ideation, and also an analysis method of the design process for future studies. In other words, the paper shows the two-way implications of the design thinking model on design education. One of which is a guide for practical use for design students and the other is an analytical tool for studio instructors or researchers.


This study brings to focus on conceptualization and spatialization for creative idea generation in design studio education. On the basis of drawn from creativity models, the paper introduces a new process model that provides an original interpretation of existing models in design. The proposed model differs from previous cognitive studies, as it expands the ideation process with both internal and external operations.


Creativity, creativity models, design thinking process, design education, interior design studio.

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