A comparison of design and nondesign problem spaces

Vinod Goel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Design problem solving has attracted considerable attention since the 1960s. Much of the work in the 'design methodology' tradition has been underwritten by the assumption that design constitutes a 'natural' category of problem solving. However, the assumption itself, has not been adequately explored. This paper is a contribution to this effort. Verbal protocols from three different design disciplines - architecture, mechanical engineering and instructional design - are compared with each other, and with verbal protocols from two nondesign tasks (cryptarithmetic and the Moore-Anderson tasks). It is found that design problem spaces share many common features, and differ in significant ways from nondesign problem spaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-72
Number of pages20
JournalArtificial Intelligence in Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • cryptarithmetic
  • design
  • Moore-Anderson tasks
  • nondesign
  • problem solving
  • protocol analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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