Sketching in design: formalising a transformational process

Sungwoo Lim, Miquel Prats, Scott Chase, Steve Garner

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The process of sketching can support the sort of transformational thinking that is seen as essential for the interpretation and reinterpretation of ideas in innovative design (Suwa 2003). In this paper, the initial outputs and findings of an ongoing project called Design Synthesis and Shape Generation are described based on experimental investigations of the mechanics of sketching from practicing architects and industrial designers as they responded to a series of conceptual design tasks. Preliminary analyses of the experimental data suggest that the interactions of designers with their sketches can be formalised according to a finite number of generalised shape rules. These rules formalise the transformations and reinterpretation of shapes for example through deformation or restructuring.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2008
EventGeometric Modelling Society meeting - University of Strathclyde
Duration: 31 Jul 2008 → …


ConferenceGeometric Modelling Society meeting
CityUniversity of Strathclyde
Period31/07/08 → …


  • sketching
  • design
  • formalising
  • transformational process


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