Én the 6th International Conference of the European Academy of Design (EAD06), March 29-31 2005, University of the Arts, Bremen, Germany.

A Framework Supporting Creativity in the Design Process: A Systems-theoretic Perspective

Argyris Arnellos, Thomas Spyrou , John Darzentas

Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering, University of the Aegean, 84100, Syros, Greece



This paper attempts to establish a systems-theoretic framework supporting creativity in the design process, where the design process is considered to have as its basis the cognitive process. The design process is considered as a purposeful and ongoing transformation of already complex representational structures and the production of newer ones, in order to fulfil an ill-defined goal. Creativity is considered as the result of an emergence of organisational complexity in each system participating in the design process, while it is trying to purposefully incorporate new constraints in its meaning structures. The meanings generated in each system are identified as the contingent and anticipatory content of its representations, and where self-organisation is the dominant process in which they are continuously involved. Furthermore, Peircean semiotic processes appear to provide the functionality needed by the emergent representational structures in order to complete the cycle of a creative design process. Creativity is located in the abductive part of the semiotic process, the fallible nature of which is maintained in the proposed framework by the fact that the emergent representations can be misfits. The nodal points of the framework are identified and analysed showing that such a design system can be creative in different dimensions.

Keywords: Creativity, Representational Content, Emergent Anticipations, 2nd-order Cybernetics, Peircean semiotics


Thomas Spyrou (Spyrou T.)