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RECENT DESIGN SCIENCE RESEARCH



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RECENT DESIGN SCIENCE RESEARCH CONSTRUCTIVE MEMORY IN DESIGN THINKING John S Gero Key Centre of Design Computing Department of Architectural and Design Science University of Sydney NSW Australia john arch usyd edu au INTRODUCTION In 1896 Dewey 1896 published a seminal work on human memory which languished after a while and was only rediscovered relatively recently In that work he introduced the concept which today is called constructive memory This concept is best exemplified by a quote from Dewey Sequences of acts are composed such that subsequent experiences categorize and hence give meaning to what was experienced before Dewey 1896 The implication of this is that memory is not laid down and fixed at the time of the original sensate experience but is somehow a function of what comes later as well It may be viewed as follows Sensate experience is stored as an experience Memories are constructed initially from that experience in response to demands for a memory of that experience but the construction of the memory includes the situation pertaining at the time of the demand for the memory The effect of this is that the memory is not just a function of the original experience it is also a function of what has happened since the original experience and of the situation which prevails when the demand for the memory is made Each memory after it has been constructed is added to the experience so that the experience is augmented by memories of it These memories require processing of the experience as opposed to factual recall of aspects of the experience These latter we will call fact memories rather than just memories New memories of the experience are a function of both the original experience and previous memories of it New memories can be viewed as new interpretations of the augmented experience Figure 1 shows graphically this conception where memories are constructed from experience and earlier memories which in turn become part of the situation which affects the



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