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By : Hernan Casakin

Design problems are unique, complex, and ambiguous. They are considered to be non-routine and ill-structured. Since these kinds of problems require the production of innovative solutions, design problem-solving involves creative thinking. Creativity is concerned with the capacity to restructure old ideas to produce novel solutions, and the ability to search for unusual design alternatives that transcend the known and familiar. In the recent years, there were attempts to gain insight in problem-solving activities that demand creativity, such as design. A question addressed in the current empirical research is how design students assess creativity in architectural design while solving housing problems. Redefining the role of housing in the contemporary city was a main concern. Major factors of design problem-solving, and their contribution to creativity are analyzed. Results revealed that restructuring of housing design problems was the most significant factor of design problemsolving, followed by search of design solutions. Retrieval of prior knowledge from memory was the weakest factor. Furthermore, innovation was the most significant factor characterizing design creativity, followed by utility and aesthetics. Additional findings showed that restructuring of housing problems was the most correlated factor, and the predictor that had a unique contribution to all creativity factors. Search of housing solutions was a predictor that contributed mainly to innovation. Keywords : Architectural Design Problem-Solving, Restructuring, Search, Creativity, Innovation, Housing.

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