Visual Stimuli Impacts on Students’ Creativity

Document Type : علمی - پژوهشی


1 Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Isfahan University of Art

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Isfahan University of Art

3 Assistant Professor, Saba Faculty of Art and Architecture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman


Design could be defined as an iterative process of manipulating graphical representations to generate creative ideas. As such, a graphical representation plays the role of visual stimulus for creativity in architectural education. Nonetheless, as an accepted convention in architectural education, students are expected to not directly utilize such graphics as their design concept. Therefore, graphical representations can stimulate design creativity in either of the two roles: their ambiguity or their structural similarity to the given design problem. This paper examines the effectiveness of graphical representations in each of these two roles. To this end, undergraduate students were asked to design a building in response to shown graphical representations with direct similarity, structural similarity or ambiguousness. Three different lecturers then assessed the resulting designs in terms of their originality and feasibility. The analysis of variances for these assessments demonstrated that structural similarity has no meaningful impact on stimulating originality. Conversely, ambiguousness could be useful in generating new ideas. None of the visual stimuli influenced feasibility of design solutions, however.

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