Creative Space in Design Education: A Typology of Spatial Functions

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Thoring, Katja; Luippold, Carmen; Mueller, Roland M.
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Germany; 2: Bauhaus-University Weimar; 3: Berlin School of Economics and Law
Section: Creativity in Design Education
Page(s): 475-480
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


This article analyses the role of the space for facilitating creativity, especially in the context of creative education. Based on a qualitative user research with cultural probes, five different types of creative spaces were identified: 1) the “Solitary Space”, which allows thinking and meditation, and which is characterized by a silent atmosphere, 2) the “Team Space”, which invites people to communicate with each other, and which is characterized by noise, playfulness and team interactions, 3) the “Tinker Space”, which allows people to experiment and to build stuff, e.g. in the university’s workshops, and 4) the “Presentation Space”, where people can actively present and show their work, or passively consume input (such as lectures). Additionally there are “Transition Spaces”, like hallways, which are used for informal exchange and chats as well as to withdraw from the focused creative work. Independent from the type, different functions of a creative space could be identified, such as a) space as a knowledge repository, b) space as an indicator of a specific culture, c) space as a process manifestation, d) space as a social dimension, and e) space as a source of stimulation. The paper suggests characteristics and criteria for each of the types and functions. The results are summarized in a framework. The work presented in this article may contribute to a better understanding of the impact of the space design for creative design education, and might also be used for design educators to improve the design of their classrooms.

Keywords: Creative space, classroom design, campus layout, creativity, cultural probes


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