Semantic measures for enhancing creativity in design education

Analysing verbal data produced during the design activity is helpful to gain a better understanding of design creativity. To understand exchange of information in terms of creative outcomes, a semantic analysis approach was used to measure the semantic content of communications between students and teachers. The goal was to use this tool to analyse design conversations, and to investigate their relation to design creativity, assessed in terms of originality, usability, feasibility, aesthetics, elaboration, overall value and overall creativity. Abstraction, Polysemy, Information Content and Semantic Similarity were employed to explore 35 design conversations from the DTRS10 dataset. Main findings suggest that a significant relationship exists between Information Content and Originality, and between Information Content and Overall creativity of the produced design outcomes. Significant relations were also found between Abstraction, Polysemy, Information Content, and Feasibility, as well as between Semantic Similarity and Overall Value of the outcomes. Implications for the use of semantic measures for encouraging creativity in the design studio are discussed.