The Creative Process in Design

  • Nathalie BonnardelEmail author
  • Alicja Wojtczuk
  • Pierre-Yves Gilles
  • Sylvain Mazon
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Creativity and Culture book series (PASCC)


Society’s need for innovation is constantly growing, driven by a demand for new products. To help designers meet this need, we have to fully understand the creative process in design. In this chapter, Bonnardel, Wojtczuk, Gilles, and Mazon characterize creative design activities and provide descriptive models of creativity and design thinking. They then describe two complementary studies. In the first one, professional designers had to identify key stages and factors for their process of creative design thinking, via interviews and questionnaires. In the second one, design students were exposed to specific teaching methods, which allow an analysis of aspects of the design process related to divergent/convergent thinking. Bonnardel et al. use these results to highlight components of the creative design process that could be enhanced by particular teaching methods and/or computational systems.


Design Design problem solving Creativity Creative process Divergent thinking Convergent thinking Analogy Constraints Teaching or pedagogical method Computational systems 



We would like to thank all the professional designers who took part in the first study, as well as the design students at the Perrin and Diderot high schools in Marseilles, and their teachers René Ragueb, Cathy Bourgoin and Véronique Billaud, for their contribution to the second study described in this chapter. This research was performed under the CREAPRO French National Research Agency contract (grant no. ANR-08-CREA-038).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathalie Bonnardel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alicja Wojtczuk
    • 1
  • Pierre-Yves Gilles
    • 1
  • Sylvain Mazon
    • 1
  1. 1.PSYCLEAix Marseille UniversityAix-en-ProvenceFrance

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