Attitudes of interior design students toward creativity in design problem solving using CADD versus conventional drafting tools

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

This study was conducted to explore interior design students' perceptions and attitudes toward creativity in design problem solving using CADD versus conventional drafting tools and to research whether CADD stifles or encourages students' creativity in that manner. Students' level of CADD perf onnance, past experience with CADD or other microcomputer software and level of CADD problems were used as the independent variables for this study.

During the last two weeks of the spring semester 1989, 32 interior design students, who comprised the population for this study, were given two design problems, one to be done with CADD and the other with conventional drafting tools. After that period students were asked to fill out a survey questionnaire and participate in a group discussion. The collected data then was a subject of a descriptive and analytical statistical study.

Findings of this study showed no relationship between students' level of CADD experience and their attitudes toward using CADD in creative design problem solving. On the other hand, a significant relationship was found between the level of CADD problems that students had and their attitudes toward CADD. As a result, although students liked using CADD in design and 78% of them did not feel intimidated by it, more than 65% of the students felt that they could come up with more design ideas with conventional drafting tools than with CADD. Most of the students attributed this attitude to their long experience with design and drafting tools.

Other problems that caused discomfort to students when using CADD in design were lack of knowledge of DOS commands, unfamiliarity with computer hardware and software problems, and their limited time to work on computers.