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The Shaping of Form: Exploring Designers' Use of Aesthetic Knowledge

Stigliani, I; Ravasi, D; (2018) The Shaping of Form: Exploring Designers' Use of Aesthetic Knowledge. Organization Studies , 39 (5-6) pp. 747-784. 10.1177/0170840618759813. Green open access

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Abstract

Research on design and designers has emphasized the tacit nature of the aesthetic knowledge that these professionals draw upon to make decisions about formal properties of objects and spaces, but is less clear about how design teams address the difficulties associated with expressing and sharing this type of knowledge. A ten-month ethnography in a design consultancy revealed a range of multimodal and cross-modal ways in which members of a design team compensate their imperfect capacity of articulating verbally their aesthetic knowledge in order to gradually construct a common knowledge base enabling creative collaboration. In so doing, our study offers two main contributions. It illuminates the interplay between designers’ aesthetic experiences, visceral responses, and intuitive cognitive processes that enable designers to draw upon their aesthetic knowledge to support the collective accomplishment of their task, and provides an interpretation of the design process as a form of ‘creative’ intuition driven by emotional reactions to environmental stimuli and emerging formal solutions.

Type: Article
Title: The Shaping of Form: Exploring Designers' Use of Aesthetic Knowledge
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0170840618759813
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0170840618759813
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: design, creativity, aesthetic knowledge, tacit knowledge, aesthetic experience, intuition
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058200
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