Introduction of Design Cognition

  • Chiu-Shui Chan
Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 17)


Design is the human conception and planning of virtually everything in the world. All man-made design has as its fundamental essence that everything is driven by certain intentions and is accomplished by a series of actions to generate results. Design is process, artifact, and discipline. As explained in the American Heritage dictionary, to design, seen from the action point of view, is: (1) to conceive or fashion in the mind, invent; (2) to have as a goal or purpose, intend; and (3) to create or contrive for a particular purpose or effect. Synthesizing these definitions into an integrated conceptual framework, design can be described as to conceive a purpose, contrive a goal, and formulate a plan for a purposeful intention in the mind. On the other hand, design seen from the perspective of an entity, is: (1) a drawing or sketch; (2) a graphic representation; (3) a particular plan or method; (4) a reasoned purpose; or (5) a deliberate intention (American Heritage Dictionary 2013). Here, a purpose and an intention are both treated as entities, for they are the products of creative actions. Thus, design is a created object, a generated method, a developed purpose, or a conceived intention for everyday routines conducted through mental efforts. Design should be recognized as an essential part of human life—in fact, a critical component of human intelligence—and, as such, deserves critical discourse.


Design Process Design Problem Problem Structure Design Activity External Representation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chiu-Shui Chan
    • 1
  1. 1.Architecture DepartmentIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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