The Open UniversitySkip to content

Descriptive models of creative design: application to an example

Cross, Nigel (1997). Descriptive models of creative design: application to an example. Design Studies, 18(4) pp. 427–440.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (198kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The ‘creative leap’, in which a novel concept emerges - perhaps quite suddenly - as a potential design solution, is widely regarded as a characteristic feature of creative design. This paper is based on an example of a ‘creative leap’ which occurred during a recorded study of the activity of a small design team. The characteristics and context of this ‘creative leap’ are reconstructed from the recorded material. The procedures underlying generic descriptive models of creative design are used to provide further insight into the example. Observations are made on implications for computer modelling of creative design. It is concluded that the perceptual act underlying creative insight in design is more akin to ‘bridging’ than ‘leaping’ the chasm between problem and solution.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.
ISSN: 0142-694X
Keywords: creativity; creative design; design behaviour; product design; case study
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Engineering and Innovation
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Design and Innovation
Item ID: 39443
Depositing User: Nigel Cross
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2014 14:48
Last Modified: 22 May 2019 20:37
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU