Studying the Unthinkable Designer: Designing in the Absence of Sight

  • Ann Heylighen


This paper aims at contributing to a more articulate understanding of the nature of design ability. To this end, we study a designer that may seem unthinkable at first glance: an architect who lost his sight and continues designing in this new condition. Based on the analysis of interviews, lectures and documents, we report and illustrate what this “unthinkable” designer and his way of working tell us about the nature of design ability, and the role of visual thinking therein. The results we obtain shed an entirely new light on issues that have been central to the study of design so far, and suggest promising directions for future research.


Mental Imagery Design Idea Spatial Reasoning Design Thinking Visual Awareness 
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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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Heylighen
    • 1
  1. 1.K.U. LeuvenBelgium

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