Assessing the use of metaphors in the design process

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36 Scopus citations


Metaphors enable the understanding of a concept in terms of another concept which is generally not associated with it. In problem-solving tasks, reasoning by metaphors has a significant influence in the development of innovative ideas. In the design domain metaphors help to structure thinking, and represent situations from a new viewpoint. Despite the frequent use of metaphors in design practice, no empirical work has studied in depth the role played by metaphors during the whole design process. In this research the aid and complexity of the use of metaphors are explored in the different phases of the design process. These phases deal with the definition of design concepts and framing of design situations, the generation of goals and constraints, and the mapping and application of structural relationships to the design problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-268
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Planning and Design
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006


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