Fuge a co-author on study to understand creative idea development in design

Design researchers have long sought to understand the mechanisms that support creative idea development. However, one of the key challenges faced by the design community is how to effectively measure the nebulous construct of creativity. The social science and engineering communities have adopted two vastly different approaches to solving this problem, both of which have been deployed throughout engineering design research.

A new article on the subject, “How Should We Measure Creativity in Engineering Design? A Comparison Between Social Science and Engineering Approaches,” was written by a team of engineers and social scientists including ISR-affiliated Assistant Professor Mark Fuge (ME), appears in the March 2021 ASME Journal of Mechanical Design. In addition to Fuge, the authors are Scarlett Miller, Samuel Hunter, Elizabeth Starkey, and Sharath Ramachandran from Pennsylvania State University and Faez Ahmed from Northwestern Univetrsity.

The paper compares and contrasts the two approaches using design ratings of nearly 1000 engineering design ideas. The authors conclude that while these two methods provide similar ratings of idea quality, there is a statistically significant negative relationship between these methods for ratings of idea novelty. In addition, the results show discrepancies in the reliability and consistency of global ratings of creativity. The results of this study guide the deployment of idea ratings in engineering design research and evidence.


Published March 1, 2021