Cognitive mapping of creative practice: a case study of three English design agencies


Pinch, Steven, Sunley, Peter and James, Macmillen (2010) Cognitive mapping of creative practice: a case study of three English design agencies. Geoforum, 41, (3), 377-387. (doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2009.10.012).

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Description/Abstract

This paper examines the relevance of causal mapping – essentially a form of visual aid to enhance our understanding of the thoughts of an individual, group or organization – as a means of analysing innovation and creativity within English design agencies. Focussing upon successful design contracts in three selected case studies, the discussion considers how far cognitive mapping can be used to understand the relations between design practices, firm routines and conventions, and the local creative milieu. The paper argues that cognitive mapping confirms the value of a situated learning perspective in which knowledge is inseparable from practice. It reveals that successful design is based on deliberate practices pertaining to relationships with clients, group dynamics, and team collaboration within the design consultancy. These practices narrow uncertainty and allow designers to exercise imagination and creative brokering. Whilst cognitive mapping can be useful heuristic tool, the analysis suggests that it is limited as means to unravelling tacit knowledge.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0016-7185 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Economy, Culture, Space
ePrint ID: 69156
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:48
Contact Email Address: S.P.Pinch@soton.ac.uk
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/69156

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