Motivation for the Cognitive Design Science SIG

Understanding the cognitive and neural processing of designers is fundamental to numerous areas of design research, including decision making, problem solving, sketching, creativity, education, and practice. The field is in a state of flux and evolution: more scientifically robust approaches are being developed, incorporating new methods, techniques, and measures from psychology and neuroscience, and researchers are seeking stronger collaboration with the cognitive science community. Recent technological advances in areas such as artificial intelligence, sensing technology, and brain-computer interfaces also open up exciting new possibilities for how research might be able to impact design practice in the future. However, these opportunities come with associated interdisciplinary challenges, and require researchers to expand their skillsets and their collaborative networks.

A diverse range of teams and individuals share interests in cognitive and neuroscientific research on design globally. These include design researchers, as well as cognitive scientists studying design-related topics (e.g. creativity, aesthetics, and user perception), and span all career stages from PhD to post-doc and through to academic. This SIG brings these people together under the umbrella of Cognitive Design Science: the scientific study of the designing mind and brain.

The SIG aims to provide mechanisms to support ongoing interdisciplinary networking and collaboration, joint discussions on research questions and direction, the exchange of ideas and expertise, and professional development. 

SIG goals

The SIG has three key goals over the period 2020 – 2024:

G1.  To establish a forum for researchers in the CDS area that will support sustained discussion, networking, and collaboration as the field evolves.

G2.  To develop, through this forum, a joint and continually evolving:

  • research framework for CDS, encompassing the diverse research areas, approaches, and practice-based applications of interest to researchers in the field; and
  • roadmap for CDS, encompassing the research questions, challenges, and impacts of relevance in the short, medium, and long term.

G3.  To establish support for the training and development needs of CDS researchers.

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