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ENE 62000: Design Cognition and Learning: Home

Course Readings Guide

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McDonnell, J. (2015).  “Gifts to the Future: Design Reasoning, Design Research, and Critical Design Practitioners”.  She ji, 1(2), pp. 107-117. [Based on a keynote on history of design]

Owen, C. (2007).  “Design Thinking: Notes on Its Nature and Use”.  Design Research Quarterly, 1, (2), 16-27. [History of “design thinking” from past to future]

Cross, N. (2007).  “Forty Years of Design Research.”  Design Research Quarterly, 1, (2), 3-6. [History of design research]


Bousbaci, R. (2008).  “Models of Man” in Design Thinking: The “Bounded Rationality” EpisodeDesign Issues, 24(4), pp. 38-52


Lawson, B. and Dorst, K. (2009).  Design Expertise.  Architectural Press.  Chapter 2: Understanding design.

Cross, N. (2007).  Designerly Ways of Knowing. Read Chapter 1: Designerly Ways of Knowing.  Birkhäuser Architectur. [A reprint from Design Studies, 3(4), 1982.]

Brown, T. (2008).  “Design Thinking.Harvard Business Review, June, pp. 1-10.

Read one (both take a global view with implications for education):

Friedman, K. (2012).  “Models of Design: Envisioning a Future Design Education.”  Visible Language, 46.1/2, 132-153.

Whitney, P. (2015).  “Design and the Economy of Choice”, She ji, 1(1), pp. 58-80. 

Mehalik, M.M. & C. Schunn (2006).  “What constitutes good design? A review of empirical studies of design processes.”  International Journal of Engineering Education, 22 (3), Special Issue on Learning and Engineering Design.

Read two (at least 2 people should reach each paper):

Atman, C. J., Chimka, J. R., Bursic, K. M., & Nachtman, H. L. (1999).  A Comparison of freshman and senior engineering design processesDesign Studies, 20 (2), 131-152. 

Atman, C.J., Adams, R.S., Mosborg, S., Cardella, M. E., Turns, J. and J. Saleem (2008).  “Engineering Design Processes: A Comparison of Students and Expert Practitioners.”  Journal of Engineering Education, October, pp. 359-379. [Same study design as above]

Dorst, K. & Cross, N. (2001).  “Creativity in the design process:  Co-evolution of problem-solution.”  Design Studies, 22 (5), pp. 425-437.

Kan, JWT and Gero JS (2009). “Using the FBS ontology to capture semantic design information in design protocol studies”. In J McDonnell and P Lloyd (eds), About Designing:  Analysing Design Meetings, CRC Press, pp. 213-229. 

Lande, M. and Leifer, L. (2010). “Incubating engineers, hatching design thinkers: Mechanical engineering students learning design through ambidextrous ways of thinking.”  Proceedings of the ASEE Conference, Louisville.

Skim (bring a representation that surprised you or resonated with you):

Dubberly, Hugh (2004).  How do you design? A Compendium of Models.  Dubberly Design Office, San Francisco CA.   [URL accessed August 26, 2014 -

Read all:

Cross, N. (2001).  “Design cognition: Results from protocol and other empirical studies of design activity.”  In C.M. Eastman, W.M. McCracken & W. Newstetter (eds.), Design Learning and Knowing: Cognition in Design Education.  New York: Elsevier Press.

Ylirisku, S. and Falin, P. (2008).  “Knowing in Situated Design Action”.  In Keinonen, T. (ed), Design Connections: Knowledge, Values, and Involvement in Design (pp. 8-17).  University of Art and Design Helsinki.

Lawson, B. and Dorst, K. (2009).  Design Expertise.  Architectural Press.  Chapter 3: Design Expertise. 

[Cognition framework] Johri, A. and Olds, B.M. (2011).  “Situated Engineering Learning: Bridging Engineering Education Research and the Learning Sciences.”  Journal of Engineering Education, 100(1), pp. 151–185. 


Svinicki, M.D. (1999).  “New Directions in Learning and Motivation.”  New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 80, Winter, pp. 5-27. 

Dall’Alba, G. (2009).  “Learning Professional Ways of Being: Ambiguities of becoming.”  Educational Philosophy and Theory, 41(1), pp.  34-45.

Adams, R.S., Daly, S., Mann, L.L., and Dall’Alba, G. (2011).  “Being a professional: Three lenses on design thinking, acting, and being.” Design Studies, 32, pp.598-607.  

Read All:

Crismond, D., & Adams, R. S. (2012). “The Informed Design Teaching and Learning Matrix.” Journal of Engineering Education, 101 (4), pp. 738-797.  [Cognitive perspective]

Revisit (for connections):  Cross (2001), Cross (2007) [Cognitive perspective]

Read one – design professionals:

Cross, N. (2018, in print).  Expertise in Professional Design. In K. Anders Ericsson, R. Hoffman, A. Kozbelt, A. M. Williams (eds.), Cambridge Handbook on Expertise and Expert Performance (2nd Edition).  Cambridge University Press: UK. [Mostly cognitive perspective]

Daly, S., Adams, R.S., and Bodner, G. (2012). “What does it mean to design? A qualitative investigation guided by design professionals’ experiences.” Journal of Engineering Education, 101(2), pp. 187-219. [Situative perspective]

Revisit (Dreyfus framework): Lawson & Dorst (2009, Chp 3) [Situative perspective]
Lawson, B. and Dorst, K. (2009).  Design Expertise.  Architectural Press.  Chapter 3: Design Expertise. 

Read one – nature of design as a “situation”:

Dorst, K. (2004).  “On the problem of design problems – problem solving and design expertise." Journal of Design Research, Vol. 4, Issue 2.

Norman, D.A. and Stappers, P.J. (2015).  “DesignX: Complex Sociotechnical Systems”.  She ji, 1(2), pp. 83-106.  

Read one – situational variations shape problem solving approach:

Jonassen, D.H. (2000).  “Toward a Design Theory of Problem Solving.”  Educational Technology: Research & Development, 48 (4), pp. 63-85. [Problem type taxonomy]

Goel, V. & Pirolli, P. (1992).  “The Structure of Design Problem Spaces.”  Cognitive Science 16, pp. 395-429.  [Attributes of design problems linked to design cognition]


Sanders, L. (2006).  “An evolving map of design practice and design research.”  Interactions, November, pp. 13-17.

Read one set (Dorst or Kolko) – each includes a framework and an application/method:


Also, read (tolerance for ambiguity as an element of abductive reasoning):

Locke, K., Golden-Biddle, K., and Feldman, M.S. (2008).  “Making Doubt Generative: Rethinking the Role of Doubt in the Research Process.”  Organization Science, 19(6), pp. 907-918.



Read one (one study focuses at the individual level, the other at the team level)

Paletz, S., Schunn, C.D., and Kim, K.H. (2013).  “The interplay of conflict and analogy in multidisciplinary teams.”  Cognition, 126, pp. 1–19.


Read one:

Resource (synthesis of decision-making tools in engineering design)

National Research Council. (2001). Theoretical foundations for decision making in engineering design. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 


  • [Framework and example] Bucciarelli, L. L. (1996).  Designing engineers.  Cambridge: MIT Press.  Chapter 1-2 (framework and overview of study design) and Chapter 6 (case study).  

Read one – perspectives on the experience of design as a social process in professional settings:

Read one – perspectives on co-design as a process, social aspects of analogical reasoning:

Read (visual cognition -> sketching):

  • Tversky, B. and Suwa, M. (2009).  “Thinking with Sketches”.  In A. Markman and K. Wood (eds), Tools for Innovation (Chapter 4, pp. 75-84).  London: Oxford Scholarship Online.
  • Goldschmidt, G. (1991).  “The Dialectics of Sketching.”  Creativity Research Journal, 4(2), pp 123-143. 

Read one (objects as “cognitive artifacts” -> interaction, discourse, boundary objects):


Read (framework):

Read one (unpacking the structure and nature of reflective practice):

Read one (supporting reflective practice):

Read (what students should know or be able to do):

Pick one (understanding learners):


Pick one (teaching approaches and teacher reflections):

Pick one to see other approaches to the same dataset (DTRS10) and gain insights into understanding students, teaching approaches, and kinds of design knowledge:

Assistant Professor

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Wei Zakharov
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