Avoiding design errors: A case study of redesigning an architectural studio

G. Lee, C. M. Eastman, C. Zimring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Most design problems have multiple interacting constraints and levels of analysis. Some designers are able to reduce errors by developing heuristics and rules of thumb that lighten the cognitive load that such design problems impose. In this study we explore these heuristics by studying three groups of experienced architects solving a one-hour design problem that involves issues of multiple levels of spatial organization. Only one group was able to solve the problem. A special coding scheme was developed to explore the use of several kinds of heuristics such as problem decomposition into design units, rules of thumb from domain knowledge and strategic design moves. The differences in heuristics were examined to identify possible causes for these errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-435
Number of pages25
JournalDesign Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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