Challenging creativity constraints

Three design studios in craft teacher education


  • Henna Lahti
  • Kaiju Kangas
  • Tellervo Härkki
  • Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen



In this design and development research, we revisit the term affordance and explore its contribution to understanding and facilitating collaborative designing in educational settings. Collaborative designing requires students to frame the design task and generate their design ideas by constructing the problem and solution together. We focused on various design challenges – that is to say, creativity constraints – during collaborative designing. Our research entailed three design studios focusing on authentic design tasks with supplied resources. The design tasks were a part of the compulsory first-year courses in Craft Studies at a university. The first design studio consisted of workshops in which student teams constructed toys based on children’s drawings. In the second design studio, the teams designed functional three-dimensional textile puzzles for visually impaired children, and in the third design studio, they produced wearable sea creatures for groups visiting the SEA LIFE aquarium. The study revealed how the creativity constraints and particular sources of inspiration facilitated students’ progressive design processes. The outcomes of the design tasks varied from simply reproducing the elements of the inspiration sources to more complex approaches through which ideas were further developed. We concluded that a balance between openness and the constraints of collaborative design tasks needs careful consideration.

Keywords: affordance, collaborative design, constraints, creativity, design task, learning environment




Referera så här

Lahti, H., Kangas, K., Härkki, T., & Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, P. (2022). Challenging creativity constraints: Three design studios in craft teacher education. Techne serien - Forskning i slöjdpedagogik och slöjdvetenskap, 29(1), 1–12.