Gallini (1989) argues that, “the ability to combine a collection of problems into a meaningful representation, or schema facilitates learning” (p. 244). More specifically, Chan (1990) reports, “that the ability of organizing and applying schemata determines a designer’s ability” (p. 78). The purpose of this study was to measure the impact and effectiveness of a conceptual advanced organizer, a database/analysis card model, in the interior design studio. The effectiveness characteristics were examined from four main areas of a design project: 1) organization of information, 2) categorization of information, 3) application of theory, and 4) overall design. The following research questions were addressed: 1. Do students, who use conceptual advanced organizers, develop design projects that are more organized than students who do not use such organizers? 2. Do students, who use conceptual advanced organizers, develop design projects that categorize information more effectively than students who do not use such organizers? 3. Do students, who use conceptual advanced organizers, develop design projects that are more theoretically-based than students who do not use such organizers? 4. Does the skill of organizing and applying schemata determine a designer’s ability? This study utilized and analyzed the strength and capabilities of the database structure, coupled with the spontaneity and idea generation of William Pena’s analysis card technique (1977) in providing an expert-like structure for novice designers in their problem solving in the design studio.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lori_stone/17/