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|Title: ||Computational Explorations of Creativity and Innovation in Design|
|Authors: ||Sosa Medina, Ricardo|
|Keywords: ||creativity;creative design;innovation;diffusion;social simulation;cellular automata;design agents;situational factors;situatedness;social influence;creative design situations|
|Issue Date: ||2005|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney. College of Sciences and Technology|
|Abstract: ||This thesis addresses creativity in design as a property of systems rather than an attribute of isolated individuals. It focuses on the dynamics between generative and evaluative or ascriptive processes. This is in distinction to conventional approaches to the study of creativity which tend to concentrate on the isolated characteristics of person, process and product. Whilst previous research has advanced insights on potentially creative behaviour and on the general dynamics of innovation in groups, little is known about their interaction. A systems view of creativity in design is adopted in our work to broaden the focus of inquiry to incorporate the link between individual and collective change. The work presented in this thesis investigates the relation between creativity and innovation in computational models of design as a social construct. The aim is to define and implement in computer simulations the different actors and components of a system and the rules that may determine their behaviour and interaction. This allows the systematic study of their likely characteristics and effects when the system is run over simulated time. By manipulating the experimental variables of the system at initial time the experimenter is able to extract patterns from the observed results over time and build an understanding of the different types of determinants of creative design. The experiments and findings presented in this thesis relate to artificial societies composed by software agents and the social structures that emerge from their interaction. Inasmuch as these systems aim to capture some aspects of design activity, understanding them is likely to contribute to the understanding of the target system. The first part of this thesis formulates a series of initial computational explorations on cellular automata of social influence and change agency. This simple modelling framework illustrates a number of factors that facilitate change. The potential for a designer to trigger cycles of collective change is demonstrated to depend on the combination of individual and external or situational characteristics. A more comprehensive simulation framework is then introduced to explore the link between designers and their societies based on a systems model of creativity that includes social and epistemological components. In this framework a number of independent variables are set for experimentation including characteristics of individuals, fields, and domains. The effects of these individual and situational parameters are observed in experimental settings. Aspects of relevance in the definition of creativity included in these studies comprise the role of opinion leaders as gatekeepers of the domain, the effects of social organisation, the consequences of public and private access to domain knowledge by designers, and the relation between imitative behaviour and innovation. A number of factors in a social system are identified that contribute to the emergence of phenomena that are normally associated to creativity and innovation in design. At the individual level the role of differences of abilities, persistence, opportunities, imitative behaviour, peer influence, and design strategies are discussed. At the field level determinants under inspection include group structure, social mobility and organisation, emergence of opinion leaders, established rules and norms, and distribution of adoption and quality assessments. Lastly, domain aspects that influence the interaction between designers and their social groups include the generation and access to knowledge, activities of gatekeeping, domain size and distribution, and artefact structure and representation. These insights are discussed in view of current findings and relevant modelling approaches in the literature. Whilst a number of assumptions and results are validated, others contribute to ongoing debates and suggest specific mechanisms and parameters for future experimentation. The thesis concludes by characterising this approach to the study of creativity in design as an alternative 'in silico' method of inquiry that enables simulation with phenomena not amenable to direct manipulation. Lines of development for future work are advanced which promise to contribute to the experimental study of the social dimensions of design.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||Copyright Sosa Medina, Ricardo;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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