ICoRD'13 pp 175-186 | Cite as

A Design Inquiry into the Role of Analogy in Form Exploration: An Exploratory Study

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


Cross transfer of ideas from one target domain to another with analogies as triggers to generate new ideas is being studied in various fields. But the role of analogy in the creative process for both generating new ideas and exploring high degree of novelty in product form generation needs to be investigated. Using an analogy can help transcend the obvious to the unexpected by forming a confluence of two mediated thoughts, guided by creative interpretations. The important aspect of generating creative ideas is the ability to use the source analogy for a resultant design solution by interpreting it in terms of the design task at hand. The study analyses the creative ideas that emerges from the design solution, specifically focusing on the use of analogy for form exploration. By using the analogical inference, transition from one domain idea to another opens the exploration of novel viewpoints and numerous alternatives. Such a malleable approach of creative generation can yield novel ideas and forms. The paper explores how the use of analogy can facilitate idea generation and allow form exploration. This research examines idea generation issues of creativity by the use of multiple source analogies to help develop multiple domain concepts threw case study method. The study collects empirical data from observations and design outputs during a design session. The aim is to articulate the influencing effect of the use of analogy on factors of form exploration. The goal is to create a value proposition that designers can use to develop novel ideas as well as expressive form generation through radical exploration.


Analogy Idea generation Form exploration 



I’m grateful to my guide Prof. B K Chakravarthy for his guidance and for allowing me to conduct my experiment within the module, Studies in Form at IDC. The cases cited here are assignments of first semester MDes. students of the 2010 batch. I’m grateful to the students for sharing their work and cooperating with my data collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Industrial Design Centre, IIT BombayMumbaiIndia

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