AR3001 Design Process and Thinking Syllabus:

AR3001 Design Process and Thinking Syllabus – Anna University Regulation 2021


 To give understanding of design as a broader field and the changing role of designer in society.
 To give exposure to methodologies, theories and models of the design process.
 To give deeper understanding of the process of creativity as well as to introduce techniques which will enable creative thinking.
 To introduce collaborative design and consideration of all stake holders.


Definition and understanding of design as a fundamental activity of humans. History of design process -earliest times through Renaissance, Beaux Arts, Bauhaus, contemporary processes. Classification of design – according to scale, process, mode of production, etc., Self-conscious and unselfconscious design. Design through drawing and design through craft. Pragmatic design, iconic design, analogic design, canonic or syntactic design.


Context for the rise of the design methodology movement from the 1950s with the critique of modernism. Theories of the first generation and the second generation design methodologists. Design as wicked problem. Escalation and regression in design. Different approaches to design process- parametric or analysis/ synthesis/ evaluation, conjecture-refutation, paradigmatic. Current ideas on Design Thinking in different disciplines including IDEO.


Understanding the term creativity. Theories on thinking – left brain/ right brain, convergent/ divergent thinking, lateral/ vertical thinking. Blocks in creative thinking. Techniques to generate creativity – brainstorming, reversal, metaphor, analogy, generation of alternatives, role playing, attribute listing and morphological analysis. Role of inspiration in creativity. Architectural inspirations. Concept of Creative Flow.


Design as social process. Team work and group creativity. Consensus in design decisions. Participatory approach to design. Stakeholders, iteration and the design process.


 Ability to think about architecture as one of the many fields under the broader ambit of design as a fundamental human activity.
 Self awareness with respect to the creative process.
 Ability to engage different processes to give creative output in an appropriate manner.
 Awareness of the importance of considering people/ stakeholders in the design process.


1. Geoffrey Broadbent, ‘Design in Architecture – Architecture and the Human Sciences’, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1981.
2. Bryan Lawson, ‘How Designers Think’, Architectural Press, 2005.
3. James C. Snyder, Anthony J. Catanese, Timothy L. McGinty, ‘Introduction to Architecture’, McGraw Hill, 1979.
4. Edward De Bono, ‘Lateral Thinking- Textbook of Creativity’, Penguin Books, 1990.
5. Christopher Jones, ‘Design Methods’, Wiley, 1992.
6. Tom Heath, ‘Method in Architecture’, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1984.
7. Nigel Cross, ‘Developments in Design Methodology’, John Wiley and Sons, 1984.
8. James L. Adams, ‘Conceptual Blockbusting’, Basic Books, 2001.
9. C. Thomas Mitchell, ‘Redefining Designing: From Form to Experience’, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.
10. Design Process in Architecture, Geoffrey Makstutis , Laurence King 2018


1. Victor Papanek, ‘Design for the Real world, Human Ecology and Social Change’, Chicago Review Press, 2005.
2. Paul Alan Johnson, ‘Theory of Architecture- Concepts, Themes, Practices’, VNR; 1994.
3. Christopher Alexander, ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, 1977.
4. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Harper 2008
5. Jeremy Till et al, ‘Spatial Agency: Other Ways of Doing Architecture’, Routledge, 2011.
6. Philip Plowright, ‘Revealing Architectural Design: Methods, Frameworks and Tools’, Routledge, 2014.
7. Anthony Antoniades, ‘Poetics of Architecture- Theory of Design’, VNR,1992.