A Micro View of Design Reasoning: Two-Way Shifts Between Embodiment and Rationale

  • Gabriela Goldschmidt
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS, volume 20)


This chapter is based on the assumption that because designing (of tangible artifacts) is aimed at specifying configurations and properties of entities, designers must manipulate forms and shapes and they must resort to visual reasoning to do so. Visual reasoning in designing is seen as the interplay between two modes of reasoning: embodiment and rationale, such that the one supports and continues the other in order to arrive at a result that is novel and valid in terms of all the requirements it is to satisfy. We use protocol analysis to explore the bond between embodiment and rationale reasoning modes at two levels of cognitive operation – that of the design move and that of the argument that is its building block. We conclude that the two modes of reasoning are equi-present in designing; they describe a binary system characterized by high-frequency shifts between embodiment and rationale.


Design argument Design move Embodiment Rationale Shift Visual reasoning 



The research for this chapter was supported by a grant from the fund for the promotion of research at the Technion, hereby gratefully acknowledged. A preliminary version of this work was published under the title “Is a figure-concept binary argumentation patterns inherent in visual design reasoning?” in the proceedings of International Conference on Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design: Computational and Cognitive Approaches, Bellagio, 177–205, 2001.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Architecture and Town PlanningTechnion – Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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