Students’ Consciousness of their Problem Solving Approaches as a Key to Creativity in Design


  • Marwa Hassan Khalil Associate Professor of Architecture, Department of Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design, College of Engineering and Technology, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), Cairo, Egypt.



problem solving, individual skills, creativity, design thinking, ill-defined problems, design education, architectural design; students’ awareness, conscious design, Geneplore model


Architectural engineering students are constantly dealing with ill-defined and tangled design problems. Many scholars accentuated the importance of creative thinking in tackling such wicked and complex problems. Accordingly, getting engaged in an ill-defined problem solving process requires specific personality traits that are often critical to creativity and innovation in design. In that sense, architectural engineering curricula need to provide various strategies through which such individual skills can be nurtured and developed. The objective of this study is to empirically identify the different patterns of students’ approaches in solving problems and the role of group discussions in such a process. The study adopted a qualitative approach, in a live class setup, through a series of workshops to allow for in-depth exploration of the students’ problem solving skills and abilities. The intention is to help students in discovering and in being aware of their own way of solving problems and identifying its strengths and weaknesses. This is considered a core and significant step towards the improvement and development of their design thinking skills. The findings of the study have emphasized the positive impact of the cyclical behavior in the creative problem solving process and highlighted the different key issues and lessons emerging from students’ consciousness of the mental processes that occurred during this iterative process. Such awareness and consciousness of those emergent issues is expected to encourage conscious design, increase tolerance for ambiguity and improve self-confidence which are believed to dramatically help students in creatively solving ill-defined architectural design problems.




How to Cite

Khalil, M. H. (2020). Students’ Consciousness of their Problem Solving Approaches as a Key to Creativity in Design. European Journal of Formal Sciences and Engineering, 3(2), 1–22.