Outstanding Paper Award


Offer Shai1, Yoram Reich1, Armand Hatchuel2, Eswaran Subrahmanian3

Creativity theories and scientific discovery: a study of C-K Theory and Infused Design

The 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED'09, Stanford, CA, 2009.

[get pdf]


1 School of Mechanical Engineering, The Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

2 MinesParistech, Paris, France.

3 Institute of Complex Engineered Systems, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA; Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, The Technical University of Delft, Delft; CSTEP, Bangalore, India.



Creativity is central to human activity and is a powerful force in personal and organizational success. Approaches to supporting creativity are diverse and numerous. The only way to understand the diversity and utility of these methods is through their careful analysis. This paper demonstrates the benefit of conducting analyses of methods with the aid of a theory. As a first step, we use Infused Design (ID) method to generate new concepts and methods in the classic discipline of statics, in addition to its prior use in the generation of a number of creative designs. The use of the ID method in the creative scientific discovery process is modeled with C-K design theory, leading to better understanding of ID and C-K. The exercise in this paper illustrates how the synthesis of a theory, a framework and methods that support discovery and design is useful in modeling and evaluation of creativity methods. Several topics for future research are described in the discussion.


This work was partially supported by the Design theory and methods for innovation Chair of Mines ParisTech and by a Visiting Professorship Grant from the Faculty of Technology Policy and Management at the Technical University of Delft.



Page URL:

Last modified: 9/2/2009 11:31:00 PM