Dimensions of Creative Evaluation: Distinct Design and Reasoning Strategies for Aesthetic, Functional and Originality Judgments

Bo Christensen, Linden J. Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


We examined evaluative reasoning taking place during expert ‘design critiques’. We focused on key dimensions of creative evaluation (originality, functionality and aesthetics) and ways in which these dimensions impact reasoning strategies and suggestions offered by experts for how the student could continue. Each dimension was associated with a specific underpinning ‘logic’ determining how these dimensions were evaluated in practice. Our analysis clarified how these dimensions triggered reasoning strategies such as running mental simulations or making design suggestions, ranging from ‘go/kill’ decisions to loose recommendations to continue without directional steer. The findings advance our theoretical understanding of evaluation behaviour in design and alert practicing design evaluators to the nature and consequences of their critical appraisals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDesign Studies
Issue numberPart A
Pages (from-to)116-136
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • Design critique
  • Design reasoning
  • Design evaluation
  • Evaluative practices
  • Mental simulation

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