Centuries of research into the question of creativity in the fields of philosophy, psychology and sociology have led to multiple theories and definitions of the concept. Similarly, the more recent study of design creativity has seen a wide range of definitions emerge. In part as a result of this extensive body of past knowledge, confusion remains as to exactly what creativity means. Ambiguity and vagueness exist both in the context of the overall design discipline and in the field of design research. This ambiguity has serious implications for design education and training where there is a need to arrive at some disciplinary agreement as to what creativity is in relation to design and to develop a pedagogical framework for teaching and assessing creativity . At a recent meeting with leading researchers in the field of design creativity these issues were raised, and it was suggested that much of the divergence that exists is the result of different disciplinary requirements. Furthermore, it was argued that these specific requirements inhibit any efforts of arriving at a disciplinary definition of the concept. This paper challenges this assumption and aims to illustrate how a sense of consensus exists behind the veil of linguistic complexity. The paper's ultimate purpose is to demonstrate how, despite their differences, contemporary perceptions of creativity actually provide an overarching definition of design creativity within which disciplinary variation may exist.
13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (EPDE2011), Vol. - (London 08-09September, 2011) p. 127-132