Use of Precedent as a Narrative Practice in Design Learning

  • Elizabeth Boling
  • Colin M. GrayEmail author


In this chapter, we discuss narrative as a tool for designing, with regard particularly to how narrative may characterize precedent. Precedent is a critical form of design knowledge, comprising the designer’s awareness and experience, direct or vicarious, of existing designs. Precedent informs an understanding of a design space, affords the generation of design moves within those spaces, and facilitates the creation of new solutions. We describe the narrative character of precedent and illustrate the narrative nature and use of precedent via an empirical study of masters-level student designers as they began to understand and attempt to articulate the precedent relationships that were informing their design activity.


Precedent Design knowledge Narrative Instructional design 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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