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1 THAI CREATIVITY IN INTERIOR DESIGN: A CROSS CULTURAL EXAMINATION OF PRACTITIONER EVALUATIONS ON CREATIVE DIMENSIONS IN ENT R Y LEVEL PORTFOLIOS By SIRIPORN KOBNITHIKULWONG A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010
2 2010 Siriporn Kobnithikulwong
3 To my beloved family
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This dissertation research would not have occurred without the dedication and support of many people. First of all, I would like to deeply thank the Architecture and Planning Faculty at Thammasat University and the Royal Thai Government for giving me an op prestigious educational environments. My most sincere thanks go to my committee chair, Dr. Margaret Portillo, whose encouragement and constructive criticism helped bring this disser tation to completion. As an advisor, she gave me amazing guidance and taught me many valuable lessons. As a mentor, she has showed me how to be a good teacher and research scholar. Also, I would like to extend my gratitude to the other committee members: J ason Meneely, Dr. Ian Flood, and Dr. Ratree Wayland for their expertise, wisdom, and helpful comments to direct and improve this dissertation research. Moreover, I appreciate the kind assistance of all practitioner participants with firms in Bangkok: Desig n103, Design Worldwide Partnership (DWP), IA49, PIA, P49 Deesign, SODA, Space Matrix, Steven J. Leach Jr., and TID and in Atlanta: ai3, Gensler, HOK, Idea | Span, Jova/Daniels/Busby, Perkins+Will, Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates (SRSSA), and TVSdesign I would like to extend my appreciation to Dr. Maruja Torres Antonini, Candy Carmel Gilfilen, Wanvarang W., Chavalit N., Ornsuda T., and Napmanee S., who served as pilot judges. I am deeply indebted for their time and thoughtfulness to partic ipate in my study. The generous assistance of Busakorn R., a former Chair of the Interior Design Architecture Department, Thammasat University, made my portfolio sample collection much more convenient than I expected. Dr. Tipsuda J. and Dhiman Bhadra dedic ated
5 their time and expertise to guide my statistical analysis. Donruethai L. and Gevalin S. helped prove my translation work. Furthermore, I would like to thank Stephen Flocks, my wonderful editor, who was always there for help. Lastly, my very special th anks go to my beloved family and boyfriend who give me continual love and support. My grandma, dad, mom, and sisters always believe in me, and I will never be able to compensate them for their encouragement throughout my life. My boyfriend, Wuthichai L., g ives me the best support and stands beside me no matter what happens. Without these meaningful persons, I doubt I could have overcome obstacles and finished my doctoral degree.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 10 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 13 Research Background ................................ ................................ ............................ 13 Worldwide Attention to Creativity ................................ ................................ ...... 15 Creativity in Design Disciplines ................................ ................................ ........ 20 Problem Statement ................................ ................................ ................................ 22 Cross Cultural Research: Thai and U.S. Perspectives ................................ ........... 26 Introduction to the Study ................................ ................................ ......................... 28 Entry Level Interior Design Portfolio as Creative Product ................................ 29 Domain, Individual, and Field as Conceptual Model ................................ ......... 30 Research Purposes ................................ ................................ ................................ 32 Significance ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 33 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 34 Quantitative Analysis of Combined Sample ................................ ...................... 35 Quantitative Comparative Analysis between Thai and U.S. Practitioners ........ 35 Qualitative Comparative Analysis between Thai and U.S. Practitioners ........... 35 Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 35 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 37 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................ ................................ .................... 40 Introducti on ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 40 Creativity ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 41 Historical Overview of Creativity Research ................................ ....................... 41 Definitions of Creativity ................................ ................................ ..................... 43 Four Ps framework ................................ ................................ ..................... 43 Consensus on novelty and appropriateness ................................ .............. 45 Conceptions of creativity in interior design ................................ ................. 46 Current Applicable Approaches to Study Creativity ................................ .......... 47 Confluence perspectives ................................ ................................ ............ 48 Systems theory ................................ ................................ .......................... 48 Domain specificity of creativity ................................ ................................ ... 49 Creative product ................................ ................................ ......................... 51
7 Assessments of c reative interior design products ................................ ...... 56 Implicit theories of creativity ................................ ................................ ....... 58 Creativity across Cultures ................................ ................................ ....................... 59 Worldwide Research on Creativity ................................ ................................ ... 60 Issues on Cross Cultural Creativity Research ................................ .................. 6 1 Definitions of Creativity across Cultures ................................ ........................... 63 Current Applicable Studies on Creativity across Cultures ................................ 65 Assessments of creative products across cultures ................................ .... 66 Thai studies on creativity ................................ ................................ ........... 67 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 70 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 73 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 73 Study Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 76 Pilot Study and Development of Portfolios for Assessment ................................ .... 78 Sample of Portfolios ................................ ................................ ................................ 81 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 82 Assessment Method ................................ ................................ ............................... 86 Instruments ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 88 Portfolio Assessment Instrument ................................ ................................ ...... 88 Semi Structured Interview with Judges ................................ ............................ 92 Questionnaire for Judges ................................ ................................ ................. 92 Study Procedure ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 92 Portfolio Overview ................................ ................................ ............................ 93 Portfolio Assessment ................................ ................................ ........................ 94 Semi Structu red Interview ................................ ................................ ................ 95 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 95 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 102 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 102 Demographics and Design Experience of Participating Practitioners ................... 105 Data Analy sis ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 107 Quantitative Analysis of Total Sample of Practitioners ................................ ... 108 Question 1: Do experienced design practitioners perceive overall creativity in entry level interior design portfolios as predicting hiring potential? ................................ ................................ .............................. 108 Question 2: What is the relative importance of the creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, in predicting overall creativity in portfolios? ................................ .............. 109 Question 3: What is the relative importance of the creative dimensions in predic perceived hiring potential? ................................ ................................ .... 111 Quantitative Comparative Analysis between Thai and U.S. Practitioners ...... 114 Question 4: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive the overall level of creativity in portfolio s and hiring potential? ............................... 114
8 Question 5: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners evaluate the creative dimensions in portfolios? ................................ ................................ ...... 116 Question 6: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive overall creativity in portfolios as predicting hiring potential? ............................. 116 Question 7: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive the creative dimensions in portfolios as predicting hiring potential? ......................... 117 Qualitative Comparative Analysis between Thai and U.S. Practitioners ......... 120 Question 8: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners describe their primary criteria for assessing portfolios? ................................ ........................... 120 Question 9: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners view creativity in portfolios with respect to hiring potential? ................................ ............. 122 Question 10: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners define design creativity in their own terms? ................................ ................................ 124 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 126 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 138 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 138 Studying Creativity within Interior Design ................................ .............................. 139 Finding Interpretations ................................ ................................ .......................... 142 Creativity as a Discipline Specific Phenomenon ................................ ............ 142 Universal Perception of Creativity in Interior Design ................................ ...... 145 Persuasion as an Important Factor in Discipline Specific Creativity ............... 149 Relationships among Assessment Criteria ................................ ..................... 151 ................... 154 ................................ .......... 158 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 161 Directions for Future Research ................................ ................................ ............. 164 Conclusions and Implications ................................ ................................ ............... 166 APPENDIX A PARTICIPATI O N REQUEST LETTER ................................ ................................ 171 B PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENT ................................ ....................... 173 C INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ................................ ................................ .................... 175 D QUESTIONNAIRE FOR JUDGES ................................ ................................ ........ 176 E UFIRB APPROVAL ................................ ................................ ............................... 177 F EXAMPLES OF PORTFOLIOS ................................ ................................ ............ 180 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 186 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 203
9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Creativity ranking of portfolios ................................ ................................ ............ 97 3 2 Participating firms ................................ ................................ ............................... 97 3 3 Participant undergraduate background ................................ ............................... 97 3 4 Participant positions ................................ ................................ ........................... 98 3 5 Participant design and portfolio review experience ................................ ............. 98 4 1 Position title by employment variables of Thai practitioners ............................. 128 4 3 Descriptive statistics of assessment criteria ................................ ..................... 129 4 4 Inter judge reliabilities of assessment criteria ................................ ................... 129 4 5 Correlation matrix of creative dimensions related to overall creativity .............. 129 4 6 Multiple regression analysis of overall creativity ................................ ............... 129 4 7 Model summary from stepwise methods in multiple regression analysis .......... 130 4 8 Correlation matrix of creati ve dimensions related to hiring potential ................. 130 4 9 Multiple regression analysis of hiring potential ................................ ................. 130 4 10 Model summary from stepwise methods in multiple regression analysis .......... 130 4 11 Rankings of overall creativity and hiring potential by culture ............................ 131 4 12 Means and sta ndard deviations of creative dimensions by culture ................... 132 4 13 Multiple regression analysis of hiring potential based on Thai evaluations ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 132 4 14 evaluations ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 132
10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 (1988, p. 329) systems view of creativity model ................................ ................................ ...................... 39 3 1 Methodology framework ................................ ................................ ..................... 99 3 2 Scatterplot of overall creativity by judge ................................ ............................. 99 3 3 Design specialties of Thai firms ................................ ................................ ........ 100 3 4 Design specialties of U.S. firms ................................ ................................ ........ 100 3 5 Dimensions employed in relevant studies ................................ ........................ 101 4 1 Design specialties by culture ................................ ................................ ............ 133 4 2 Model describing overall creativity, hiring potential, and creative dimensions .. 133 4 3 Scatterplot of overall creativity by culture ................................ ......................... 134 4 4 Scatterplot of hiring potential by culture ................................ ............................ 134 4 5 Model describing assessment criteria by culture ................................ .............. 135 4 6 Qualitative portfolio assessment criteria by culture ................................ ........... 135 4 7 Qualitative hiring considerations by culture ................................ ...................... 136 4 8 Personality traits and characteristics by culture ................................ ................ 136 4 9 ................................ .......... 137 4 10 ................................ .......... 137 5 1 Summary of creative characteristics by domain ................................ ............... 17 0
11 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THAI CREATIVITY IN INTERIOR DESIGN: A CROSS CULTURAL EXAMINATION OF PRACTITIONER EVALUATIONS ON CREATIVE DIMENSIONS IN ENTRY LEVEL PORTFOLIOS By Siriporn Kobnithikulwong Decem ber 2010 Chair: Margaret Portillo Major: Design, Construction and Planning Recently, government, corporate, and educational leaders have repeatedly identified the importance of creativity in global competition. In unison, research studies are beginning t o explore creativity in a cross cultural context; however, much work remains to examine domain specific creativity. In the area of interior design, although creativity is highly valued and essential for problem solving, it has not been fully investigated i n the setting of practice and education across cultures. The present dissertation research explores discipline specific creativity in a cross cultural context. More specifically, this study focuses on assessments, attributes, and definitions of creativity in interior design, through Thai and U.S. practitioner evaluations of entry level portfolios as creative design products. Based on the research focuses, the research questions addressed are: what do designers consider to be creative in portfolios, how do d esigners define design creativity, and how do cultural influences affect the assessment of creative portfolios and the definition of creativity? To answer these questions, the study employed a mixed methods design, involving survey and semi structured inte rview methods, and a field based research
12 strategy. A sample of participants consisted of 20 Thai and 16 U.S. senior level design practitioners. A sample of portfolios contained 12 Thai digital portfolios, exhibiting high, medium, and low creativity. In th e data collection, practitioners individually assessed the portfolios on six assessment criteria: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, aesthetic appeal, overall creativity, and hiring potential. Consensual Asse After the portfolio assessment, designers responded to interview questions regarding their own assessment criteria and concepts of creativity Interview responses contributed to a qualitative understandi ng of the portfolio evaluation and creativity perception. The study findings support the discipline specificity and universal perception of creativity in interior design. Endorsing the general consensus of creativity, Thai and U.S. designers both viewed novelty and appropriateness as primary aspects guiding the assessment of creative portfolios and influencing the perception of creativity. Technical merit and aesthetic appeal, as domain specific criteria, also played important roles in indicating overall creativity in portfolios. Most importantly, practitioners confirmed that
13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Research Background To a very large degree, creativity made the world we live in. Remove everything about us that was not the product of the creative mind, and we would find ourselves naked in some primeval forest. Moreover, each culture and civilization on this planet is defined by the accumulation of creative products generated by the humans that have occupied this globe. (Simonton, 2006, p. 490) Dean Keith Simonton, a leading scholar in psychology, speaks to the universality of creativity in the above excerpt from The International Handbook of Creativity Today, we are acutely aware that creativity plays a crucial part in our world. Not only was the past role of creativeness in civilizing each culture essential, but its recent role in contributing to national and global advancements in arts and sciences is also vital. With creative talent, human innovations in research and application move the world forward. In earlier times, individuals around the world created a number of ideas and artifacts improving human lives and increasing our knowledge. For example, in China in the early 1 st century, Cai Lun invented the paper making process; in England in the 1680s, Sir Isaac Newton formulated the universal law of gravity; and in the United States in the 1870s, Thomas Edison created the light bulb. Traditionally, the concept of creativity appeared associated with innovation. People often regarded invent ors with breakthroughs as creative talents. Nowadays, however, we have gained more insight into creativity and realize that it is not only innovation but also adaption that takes part in creative outcomes (Kirton, 1976; Sternberg, Kaufman, & Pretz, 2002). In the 1790s form and motivic development of the classical music inspired by Haydn and Mozart, and proposed a new style of the classical music with an intense level of emotion ality. In the
14 1860s Louis Pasteur developed the germ theory of disease and vaccine therapy based In the 1950s Chien Shiung Wu, one of the 20 th icists, changed the way that physicists viewed the structure of the universe by disproving the law of conservation of parity and supporting the revolutionary concept of beta decay (Byers & Williams, 2006). Similar to inventors, by adapting ideas or artifac ts that already existed, these adaptors could produce creative products to advance the world. In our time, many scholars in different fields worldwide have suggested that not only geniuses possess creative talent, but everyone can be creative to some exten t (McWilliam & Dawson, 2008; Richards, 2007). Leslie Lamport, a famous American Th is implies that, without a rare ability, people can produce a creative outcome by having motivation. Ruth Dineen (2006), the director for a study into the promotion of learner creativity in UK and Chinese art and design contexts, has developed policies for the creative education based on a notion that everybody has inherent and promotable creative ability. AI Girl Tan (2004), a prominent Singaporean psychology scholar, has work Accepting that everyone can be creative, countries across the world have tried to elevate the ir global success. Japan becomes a good example of using Japanese
15 Japan depended on two systems: the government led and grass roots machineries. The latter machinery play ed the more critical role in developing consumer electronics that later became internationally renowned (Nakayama, Bouton, & Pecht, 1999). For instance, in 1957 Sony originally created the Walkman, one of the most creative products of all times, by adaptin g transistor radios and small tape recorders (Morita, Reingold, & Shimomura, 1986). Reducing the scale of the radios allowed a wider range of functionality. Recently, to address the global competitive challenge, the UK government has promoted creativity in businesses, especially in small and medium sized enterprises. Reinforcing the initiative, the Economic and Finance Ministry industries and productions. Cox (2005) propose d that, to accomplish the mission, the effectiveness of supports, increase creativity in higher education, employ public lents. Within countries as well as worldwide, creativity appears increasingly important. Gl we normally do may not work anymore. In this situation, creativity is essential f or us to achieve our goals as individuals, as organizations, and as countries. This is why not only individuals in the arts and sciences but also governments and organizations across the world have tried hard to enhance the creative potential of their peop le and creative productivity of their countries (Hokanson, 2010; Kaufman & Sternberg, 2006). Worldwide Attention to Creativity Regarding the increasing emphasis on creativity worldwide, Simonton (2006) pointed out that the universal interest mostly concern s creativity in industrial and
16 educational areas. Focusing on the industry sector, we see that creative productivity have paid great effort to advance creativity in the workplace. In the United States, the Conference Board and Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), conducted a 2008 survey on 98 business ight, 2008). The survey revealed that 97% of the executives recognized creativity as a workforce skill. However, only 72% referenced creativity as a primary criterion when hiring people; in this group, 80% provided optional creativity training programs to their workers. Based on the results, the executive director of AASA stressed that, in order to promote the 21st century American workforce, the business sector needs to examine what they can do, such as investing in creativity training programs, to foster creative potential in current and future employees. In another report from the 2020 Australia Summit, Toward a Creative Australia the Australian government has considered creativity as a critical alian Government, 2008). Specifically, the government has placed a focus on the growth of commercial arts, such culture. By encouraging creative artists and designers as well as promoting artistic creativity in education, Australia expects to have new, creative, technology rich emerging industries to drive its economy shortly. Not only a pressing issue in the West, leaders throughout Asia have acknowledged the influenc e of creativity on economic growth and called for greater attention to creativity in their countries. South Korea has reinvented itself by changing
17 its business culture, advancing innovative designs, and fostering creativity in order to compete in the worl d market and become a major economic force. Since 1997, South Korea realized that the Confucian oriented, traditional management style, which relied heavily on patriarchy and hierarchy, could not lead the economy to survive in the globalization era. Many c ompanies started to employ new management styles that more supported creative input of new generation workers (Sang Hun, 2008). For example, SK nonexecutive employees to be th e same title Manager. This transformation has successfully encouraged junior employees, who then felt more important in the company, to express creative ideas. In addition to altering their management style, South Korean industries have also replaced the ir low cost labor with creative ideas and In Thailand, Punsak Vinyaratn, former Chief Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister, underlined the dual roles of creativity and des order to maintain competitiveness in the global market, Thailand can no longer expect to compete with other countries merely in terms of lower labour costs. Thailand needs to capitalize on its creativity in desig ning products and services to better meet market 3 4 ). The creativity promotion policy has primarily focused on professionals and entrepreneurs in design areas, such as architecture, fashion design, and industrial design, for driving their business performance and creative design knowledge accessible by offering design libraries, creative centers, and workshops for the public.
18 Though busi ness, industry, and economy can be impacted by creativity, education is another area where creativeness can enhance teaching and learning. In the 1950s, J. Paul Guilford brought issues of creativity back into the Western research forefront and raised an im Western were producing large numbers of graduates, but that most of them were trained simply Western educational systems started to focus on creativity and have explicitly emphasized it in thei r policies in the last decades of the 20 th century (Houtz, 2002). However, there still are specific areas, such as art or science training courses in K 12 schools and teacher education, where Western education needs to enhance creativeness (Fasko, 2000 200 1). Having a shorter history of creativity research, Eastern nations, especially those in Eastern Asia, began recognizing the positive impact of creativity in their educational systems since the 1970s (Neihart & See, 2009). It was not until the early 21 st century that creativity has taken the more evident part in Eastern education (Kaufman & Sternberg, 2006; Lau, Hui, & Ng, 2004b). Currently, a growing number of K 12 schools and universities around the world have stressed creativity as part of their declare d vision for their staff and students (Jackson, Oliver, Shaw, & Wisdom, 2006; Kwang & Smith, 2004; Tan, 2007). Western countries are acutely accentuating creativity in their educational curriculum in order to generate creative graduates who can compete eff ectively in professional markets (Florida, 2004; Jackson et al., 2006; McWilliam & Dawson, 2008). For the entire higher
19 education sector, a report of the European University Association (2007) suggested that research, teaching, and learning activities shou ld involve creativity as the essential part creativity, forward looking individuals and groups who are not afraid to question established ideas and are able to cope with the insecurity and uncertainty that this Since the beginning of the 21 st century, Asian nations that only recently began enhancing creativity in their education are rapidly reaching international standards (Kim, 2009; Kwang & Smith, 2004; Niu, 2006; Tan, 2000; Tin, Manara, & Ragawanti, 2010). In White Paper of Creative Education The ministry has reformed a number of laws and policies to center on the cultivation of creativity in all possible areas, including curriculums, staff development, institutional management systems, and learning facilities. For example, the reformed kindergarten curriculum has decreased the role of lecturing, while reinforcing small group programs, such as free imagination painting, for children to grow their creativity. So far, both public and private institutions in Taiwan have positively responded to the national initiative. and performance in general. Nevertheless, the global attention has recently tended to focus on fostering creativity in specific areas. In 2002, England initiated a national program entitled Creative Partnerships to have creative practitioners, such as artists, scientists, and architects, work with teachers in schools to enhance young stu
20 learning and creative abilities in a particular subject (Creativity Culture and Education, 2010; Heath & Wolf, 2005). In line with the global trend on domain specific creativity, Dow and Mayer (2004) stated that discipline relevant skills impact col competence to solve problems in one area, such as spatiality, ma y not have problem solving skills in other areas such as mathematics. This endorses the multi faceted nature of creativeness and the importance of studying creativity in specific areas. Creativity in Design Disciplines In the previous sections, we see the importance of creativity increasing in the business and education sectors across the world. Creativeness becomes even more fundamental in both divisions in design arenas. Goldschmidt (1999) proposes that ed by designers in a variety of design (1) symbolic and visual communication such as graphic design, (2) everyday products such as industrial design, (3) activi ties and organized services such as design management, and (4) environments for living, working, playing, and learning such as architecture and interior design. The present dissertation study focuses on the last category of design disciplines interio r design in particular. Generally, design represents a creative profession involving innovative designers (Lawson, 2006). Therefore, many countries consider design as a creative industry that takes a vital part in their economic capability (Hokanson, 2010) Focusing on creativity
21 Designers often regard creativity as key in their work. I n graphic design, Sawahata t the quality of a design and concerned with the creative manipulation of form, space, light, materials, and 15). Supporting the strong connection between design and creativity, in his classic research on creative personality characteristics, MacKinnon (1962) recruited architects, who represented design practitioners, as a sample of highly creative persons. MacKi nnon described that an Similar to the practice, design education places an explicit premium on creative ability in the curriculum (Casakin & Kreitler, 2008; Nelson, 2010). Presently, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (2009), whose mission is to ensure a high level of quality in the U.S. interior design education, identifies creative thinking as a core level interior designers need to apply all aspects of the design process to creative problem 14). This i s a core expectation for all interior design graduates from accredited programs. With
22 experience in practicing and teaching, Nelson (2010) discussed issues of creativity and technological changes in design areas. Although the digital technology has become dominant, creativity is still essential for designers and design students to use technological tools productively. Additionally, Kruse (2010) endorsed that, for the growing interior design profession, it is an appropriate goal of the education sector to en hance creativity, investigation, and design development in design students. Given the growth of design programs in Asian countries such as South Korea and Thailand, investing in design education certainly has the possibility of influencing Asian contribut ions (Molsawat, 2007; Woyke, 2007). Similar to the West, there is no doubt that Asian design students should possess creativeness as one of the primary design skills. According to Design Education in Korea (Lim, 2006), to advance South Korean design educat 1). Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University in Thaila nd, also highlights a goal to create graduates with interdisciplinary knowledge who are capable of producing creative design solutions study is architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning de Problem Statement As we have seen, design disciplines worldwide recognize the significance of creativity; however, there is a paucity of research on creativity in design across cul tures. By reviewing papers on creativity published in top tier design journals including Journal of Interior Design Design Issues and Design Studies the researcher found a few articles on cross cultural design creativity. In addition, people always cons ider design as
23 a merger between the arts and sciences (Buchanan, 1992). These disciplines, with their long histories and traditions, have initially influenced the field of design; however, Cross strong and appropriate disciplines, such as valuing creativity as well as aesthetical and technological merits. Nonetheless, the design field has unique characte ristics, including the design problem creativity which influences judgments of design products (Goldschmidt, 1999). To distinguish design creativity from artistic or scien tific creativeness, we need to address critical questions regarding creativity in design that no one has fully answered. The most imperative of these are: how is creativity defined in the design field; how is creativity assessed by experts in the field; an d what creativity attributes are perceived as most important by these stakeholders? While some researchers have attempted to answer these questions (e.g., Casakin & Kreitler, 2008; Dorst & Cross, 2001; Glck, Ernst, & Unger, 2002; Lindstrm, 2006; Meneely & Portillo, 2005), more empirical studies will help evaluate whether their answers can be applied universally. The questions described above do not appear only in the design field; actually, they are also of primary concerns to creativity research in gener al. First, since creativity has diverse facets, people have described the phenomenon in different ways (Mayer, 1999; Paletz, 2003; Runco, 2007). Some scholars define creativity in terms of a general property of persons, products, processes, or environments Others supply creativity definitions with respect to specific domains (Sternberg, 1999). Exploring perceptions of
24 terners consider creativeness as a comparison of creativity conceptions, argued that American, Japanese, and Chinese all recognize creativity in terms of novel and appropriate qualities in products, but weighed the two qualities differently. Also, Niu and Sternberg (2002) agreed that people in the East and the West view creativity similarly but not identically; Easterners seem to associate creativity with social value more than Westerners. Based on the variation in creativity conceptions, Getzels (1975) even claimed that it is impossible to reach a consensus on the definition of creativity. So far, creativity scholars have not been able to agree on a single definition; neverthel ess, the majority of Western researchers concur that the definition should involve two main characteristics: novelty and appropriateness. clear objective criteria f or identifying creative products, novelty is often cited as one of their distinctive characteristics, and some form of utility usefulness, appropriateness, or social value Second, as there is this variation in definitions of creat ivity, there is also no fully universal method accepted for creativity assessment. Instead, researchers have proposed diverse approaches to gauge creativeness. Among innumerable proposed measurements the majority of scholars traditionally employ divergent thinking tests, most widely reative problem solving skill and has shown relatively high correlations to other creativity measures
25 (Kaufman, Plucker, & Baer, 2008). However, similar to most psychometric tests, the TTCT indicates domain generality of creativity and falls short in terms of construct validity to assess creativity in reality (Reich, 2001). A more practical approach to measure domain Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT), involves judges to evaluate creat ivity of products or their creators (Kaufman, Plucker, et al., 2008). Although the CAT reflects the real world creativity assessment, accessing actual products and selecting proper evaluators could be challenging. Since reliability of the CAT depends on ra misrepresent results (Amabile, 1982). In addition, another significant gap in the knowledge on creativity concerns a cultural context. A decade ago, Hoffman (1999 Although the current literature has shown increasing attention on cross cultural studies (e.g., Chen et al., 2005; Kim, 2005; L eung, Au, & Leung, 2004), a scope of research contexts still needs expansion. Since the majority of creativity research represents Western perspectives, especially the U.S. point of view, we may not be able to apply this knowledge to other parts of the wor ld (Baer & Kaufman, 2006; Kim, 2007). Reviewing cross cultural studies on implicit theories of creativity, Paletz (2003) questioned whether Western scholars misinterpret data collected from the East by understating cultural impacts on creativity perception s. According to Csikszenmihalyi
26 innovative within the context of their own systems and to the extent that circumstances of creativity, we need to consider cultural influences on the phenomenon. Cross Cultural Research: Thai and U.S. Perspectives Regar ding the outlined research context, numerous recent studies on creativity have gradually emphasized the role of cross cultural research in broadening the scope of creativity studies (e.g., Chen et al., 2005; Kharkhurin & Motalleebi, 2008; Paletz, 2003). Co rrespondingly, the present dissertation research proposes to extend the body of creativity knowledge by offering a cross cultural investigation into creativity in interior design. Although some creativity studies are beginning to explore creativity across cultures, much work remains to further examine discipline specific creativity in a cross cultural context (Averill, Chon, & Hahn, 2001; Runco, 2007; Westwood & Low, 2003). This dissertation research aims to explore creativity in the field of interior desig n across cultural perspectives. Because the United States has the most extensive body of knowledge and research on creativity (Baer & Kaufman, 2006), this study considers the U.S. perspective on creativity to be representative of the West. For a representa tive of the East, in contrast to a majority of Eastern creativity research that has focused on East Asian countries (Kaufman & Sternberg, 2006), the present study aims to shed light on another part of the continent. Thailand, located in Southeast Asia, was chosen for this dissertation research based on the following reasons. First, the Royal Thai government has currently established policies and funded programs emphasizing creativity in many areas, especially in industry and education
27 economy (Akarasupaset, 2007; Prime Minister, 2009). Second, the Thai scholar community has started to recognize the importance of creative talent (Laistrooglai, 2010; Malakula, 2003; Pornrungroj, 2003; Sornpaisarn, 1999). Researchers have paid more attention to issues about creativity in order to enhance overall creative potential in Thai people, especially in school students (Panjamawat, 2005; Saengpunya, 2005). Finally and also importantly, Thai design has proved its high potential t o reach global design achievement and recognition. For example, Interior Design an international design trade publication, contained recent articles featuring two outstanding Thai interior designs (Cohen, 2008; Shollenbarger, 2008). An issue of April 08 p end residential design. Both firms are located in Bangkok, o houses Material Connexion which is a leading international innovative material resource and consultancy, and worldwide collections of books and magazines in all art and design related fields, such as graphic design, architecture, and interior design. Offering many creativity exhibitions and workshops, TCDC has aimed to foster creative potent ial in Thai people as well as motivate creative ideas for design professionals and
28 Even though creativity becomes a more important focus in Thailand, especially in design related areas, only little research on Thai creativity has been conducted. Using the keyword creativity ( ) a search for Thai scholarly papers on creativity in 2010 was performed on the Scholar Information System and Thai Education Resear ch databases. The search revealed 490 entries. Most of the articles focused on creative potential of elementary or middle school students, and none of them examined applied creativity in design. Further limiting the dissemination of Thai creativity knowle dge, most researchers wrote their papers in Thai; this language barrier hinders Thai creativity scholars to share their work more widely with the rest of the world. Introduction to the Study In order to broaden the body of creativity knowledge, the present dissertation research explores discipline specific creativity across cultures. Specifically, this study examines creativity in the context of interior design, with a focus on the assessment, attributes, and definition of creativity, through the two cultur al perspectives: Thai and U.S. To scrutinize the measurement and dimensions of creativity, this dissertation study places an emphasis on creative design products as a primary aspect of creativity. According to Mooney (1963), creativity involves at least o ne of the following four aspects: product, process, person, and press. Creative products result from creative processes employed by creative individuals, all of which is enhanced by physical and social creative atmospheres. In addition, other researchers, such as Simonton (1990) and Mumford, Scott, Gaddis, and Strange (2002), suggested an additional aspect, important to restate that this dissertation study examines onl y the creative product. In
29 outcome of a creative design process (Demirkan & Hasirci, 2009). Further, t he product has been considered a key aspect in studying creativi ty; however, it has been the least empirically researched and understood (Amabile, 1996; Treffinger, 2002). (1982, 1996) Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT), which has been most widely respected and utilized in different disciplines, such as education, psychology, business, music, art, and design (Dollinger & Shafran, 2005; Kaufman, Plucker, et al., 2008). This main do share creativity assess creativity from their own concepts of creativity. Supporting the role of experts in gauging levels of creativity, Csikszentmihalyi (1988) r ecognized the expert as one of the three factors: the individual, the domain, and the field, in his systems theory of creativity. in the domain. In interior design, t he expert includes design practitioners who often assess design works of others, particularly entry level designers. Therefore, the present study recruits experienced Thai and U.S. practitioners to evaluate creative design products represented by a sample of entry level design portfolios. Entry Level Interior Design Portfolio as Creative Product To properly employ the CAT as an assessment tool, an evaluated product must meet the following three requirements: it has to be appropriate to be judged; it has to different skill levels in baseline performances (Amabile, 1996). An entry level design portfolio meets all of the three criteria. First, the portfolio is usually eval uated in the
30 interpretations (Castiglione, 1996; Newstetter & Khan, 1997). Third, portfol ios used in this study present similar skill levels of their creators as design students who can work digitally and also employ hand skills. The focus on the portfolio, as a creative design product in this study, can assume the form of interior design solu tions, two dimensional drawings, three dimensional models, digital and hand sketched images representing a range of media. The portfolio is well recognized in allied design areas, such as architecture, industrial design, and interior design, as an importan t tool for assessing design ability, creative talent, and potential for future achievement (Linton, 2003). The portfolio also represents a passport enabling students who are graduating from interior design programs to cross from the educational to the prof essional world. To employ a new designer, a practitioner primarily focuses on a portfolio, and then calls an applicant whose portfolio passed the review for an interview prior to making a final hiring decision. Hence, there is no doubt that the evaluation of design portfolios plays a significant role in the hiring process (Linton, 2008). Nevertheless, little information on how designers assess portfolios and gauge their level of creativity has been empirically revealed (Cho, 2007; Levins, 2006). Domain, Ind ividual, and Field as Conceptual Model Figure 1 1 illustrates primary aspects of this dissertation research based on the domain, the individual, and the field. Csikszentm ihalyi noted that these three components interact with each other, and the starting point of the interaction is purely arbitrary. The domain provides knowledge and skills, including exposure to rules and
31 practices, to the individual, who supplies the abili ty and personality to produce a creative outcome. The field also receives precedents from the domain, while it judges In the current research, the domain comprises the interior de sign discipline and culture. The interior design realm offers the design fundamentals and skill sets to the individual and the field, represented by Thai graduating interior design students and Thai and U.S. experienced design practitioners, respectively. The students create a sample of entry level design portfolios, and the practitioners assess the portfolios as the perceptions and behaviors of the individual and t he field. Thai culture seems to portfolios. Thai and U.S. cultures tend to affect designers who practice in different cultural areas in terms of their judgments and percep tions of creativity. Based on the model described above, the present study recruits Thai and U.S. experienced designers and Thai design portfolios in order to examine the measurement, attributes, and definition of domain specific creativity across cultures By reviewing relevant literature on the evaluation of creative products that will be discussed in the methodology chapter, this research employs novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal as creative dimensions for assessing design p ortfolios. The study also includes overall creativity and hiring potential into the assessment criteria in order to connect the value of a portfolio to its original purpose. Relationships of the creative dimensions to overall creativity in design portfolio s and their influences on potential that a student would have an interview leading to employment are examined in this study.
32 Research Purposes As established in the research background, countries worldwide have increasingly called for creativity. The majority of creativity knowledge based upon the Western perspective remains untested in other parts of the world. Hence, a primary purpose of this dissertation study is to conduct a cross cultural investigation into creativity in the context of interior de sign. To explore cultural differences and/or similarities, the current research employs a sample of Thai and U.S. experienced designers to assess creativity levels in a sample of Thai entry level interior design portfolios. Many believe that designers all design styles in each country, design practitioners around the world basically share the same fundamentals of design. Particul arly now, when we live in a global workforce, it is not surprising to see practitioners from different cultures work on a project together (Kruse, 2010). Due to updated, high technologies, we also easily share and judge works of design worldwide. Thus, it should be helpful to have a common metric to assess creative design works that is universally accepted. By considering the evaluation of creative design products, another research purpose is to explore Thai and U.S. design ign portfolios. What do designers consider to be creative in design portfolios, how critical are portfolios in the assessment of creativity, and how do cultural influences impact the assessment of creativity in portfolios? Finally, the present study aims t o define creativity and its attributes in the context of interior design. Barnard (1992) indicated that although both design educators and practitioners are experts in the design field, they seem to hold different definitions of creativity and creative des ign products. The educators tend to associate creativity in
33 design projects with aesthetic aspects. In contrast, the professionals mostly referred to technical skills when describing creativity in design projects. Even though design educators have emphasiz ed a concept of creativity in education, it is still unclear if design professionals consider the same creativity concept when selecting entry level designers. Thus, this dissertation study also investigates how practitioners define creativity as viewed in design portfolios as well as in the interior design profession based upon their attitude and work experience. Significance Responding to the research purposes, this dissertation study aims to expand the body of knowledge in interior design as well as conn ect a gap between the academic and professional sectors. There has been disengagement between design professional practice and education. Baker and Sondhi (1989) noticed changes in the interior design profession and suggested the responsibility of educator s to lift educational standards to (p. 35). Considering the role of the academic, Hild Professional design practice has recently altered its focus to a collaborative practice involving engagement of cultural and multi discip linary design teams; nonetheless, design education has paid little attention to this issue. To produce proficient graduates who are soon to be designers, the practice and education sectors have to realize each In order to bridge these two divisions, the current study provides an insight into what practitioners expect in design graduates through the assessment of creativity in
34 Eisenman (2006) sug gested that innovative firms have increasingly preferred the portfolio in a digital form such as a Web site, slide show, or PDF. Importantly, students usually create their portfolios based on advice of their professors who are experts in the academic secto r, whereas actual evaluators of their portfolios appear to be designers who are experts in the practice sector. Hence, the study results are anticipated to provide a better understanding of creativity and its dimensions in design portfolios and propose use ful recommendations for design educators who are guiding students in developing their own portfolios. In addition, even though cross cultural studies on creativity in general have increased, conceptions of discipline specific creativity have been scarcely examined across cultures. Therefore, the research findings not only bridge education and practice but also compare Thai and U.S. views on creativity within the interior design discipline. Research Questions aluations and perceptions of creativity in design, this dissertation study addresses both quantitative and qualitative overall creativity, hiring potential, and the cre ative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal. Next, research question four to seven indicate cultural similarities and/or variations. Finally, research question eight to ten qualitatively explore portfolio assessments and hiring considerations as well as definitions of creativity described by the two groups of practitioners.
35 Quantitative Analysis of Combined Sample Question 1: Do experie nced design practitioners perceive overall creativity in entry level interior design portfolios as predicting hiring potential? Question 2: What is the relative importance of the creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, in predicting overall creativity in portfolios? Question 3: What is the relative importance of the creative dimensions in potential? Quantitative Comparative Analysis between Thai and U.S. Practitioners Question 4: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive the overall level of creativity in portfolios and hiring potential? Question 5: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners evaluate the creative dimensions in portfolios? Question 6: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive overall creativity in portfolios as predicting hiring potential? Question 7: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive the creative dimensions in portfolios as predicting hiring potential? Qualitati ve Comparative Analysis between Thai and U.S. Practitioners Question 8: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners describe their primary criteria for assessing portfolios? Question 9: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners view creativity in portfolios with respect t o hiring potential? Question 10: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners define design creativity in their own terms? Assumptions There are six assumptions in this dissertation research. The first assumption regards a cultural bias. Runco (2007) suggests that, without an insight into cultural differences, researchers should not compare creativity between cultures. In line with
36 one culture should not be applied unthinkingly, un critically and unreflexively to evaluate assumes that, with critical considerations, we may evaluate and apply definitions of creativity across different cultures. We mus t be cautious in making wide generalizations based on a small sample size from a single country. Besides, findings and potential relationships should be further studied and carefully examined in ongoing research. Second, the present dissertation study assu mes that creativity emerges from an interaction among a person, process, environment, and product. According to Treffinger (2002), creative outcomes result from the combination between creative characteristics of people and processes they perform within pr oper contexts. In this study, the creative product is presumed to represent creativity in the person, process, and environment. In other words, creativity in portfolios happens based on creative talent in students who created the portfolios, creative proce sses, and environments that promote creativity. The third assumption relates to creative ability of participating design students. Supporting the belief that creativity is a normally distributed trait (Hope, 2010; Richards, 2007), this research assumes tha t the students, who have been trained and educated to the highest level of Thai undergraduate interior design schooling, have some degree of creative ability. Fourth, all Thai interior design graduates who produced portfolios used in this study have been e xposed to similar discipline specific knowledge and have gained foundation skills in interior design. This is based on the fact that the students passed the same screening process before being accepted into their present interior design program. They have experienced the same program with the same educators and have been given the same or similar design problems. Hence, this study assumes
37 that each of the students has had an equal chance to produce creative design projects represented in their entry level p ortfolios. The fifth assumption regards practitioner evaluations of design portfolios. When assessing digital portfolios, practitioners are assumed to employ the same criteria as they use in evaluating traditional print portfolios. Despite the formats, des ign portfolios assist in our comprehension of individual designers, their design work, creative talent, and vision in the field (Linton, 2008). Additionally, Eisenman (2006) described that, when an in person presentation is not available, the digital portf olio is more convenient and beneficial for designers than the print version. It is also important to note that a sample of design portfolios used in this study does not contain all projects as originally submitted. The researcher standardized the portfolio s to control confound factors and keep an apposite number of slides for judges to review. However, the researcher kept the integrity in the portfolios the same as their original submissions. Thus, it possibly assumes that a sample of portfolios receives de original portfolios would receive. The final assumption is that the portfolio assessment process employed in the present study mirrors a real world evaluation of portfolios in the hiring process; experienced practitio ners reviewed a sample of portfolios created by Summary Creativity plays a critical role in industries and education systems worldwide. Given the fact that the majority of creativity research has relied on the Western view, a cross cultural study becomes essential to broaden the understanding of creativity in o ther areas of the world. The interior design field highly values creativity as a key quality of design works. However, it is doubtful whether people in the field, including educators
38 and practitioners, embrace the same conception of creativity. Recruiting Thai and U.S. designers, this dissertation study examines creativity, its attributes, and hiring possibility in Thai entry level interior design portfolios across the two cultural viewpoints. Research questions are developed employing both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The study results will bridge a gap between the academic and professional world and provide insight into cross cultural creativity in interior design.
39 Figure 1 1. Conceptual model adapted from view of creativity model
40 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Introduction Creativity is a puzzle, a paradox, some say a mystery. Inventors, scientists, artists rarely know how their origi nal ideas arise. They mention intuition, but to outlaw any systematic explanation, whether scientific or historical. (Boden, 1994, p. 75) As Boden posits in Dimensions of Creativit y creativity captivates and, at the same time, eludes everyone. Researchers across disciplines and cultures have built a body of knowledge on creativity; however, owing to the multi faceted nature of the phenomenon, the literature reflects diverse perspec tives on what creativeness actually is. Aiming to understand creativity, scholars have developed innumerable approaches, definitions, and measurements. Although we have not reached a definite consensus yet, these contributions have helped us to gradually d iscern different facets of creativity. The present dissertation study focuses on creativity in the context of interior evaluations of design portfolios as creative products, and also examines design most relevant literature on creativity as background for addressing the research questions. The main thrust of this review centers o n assessments of creative products and scholarly definitions of creativity. The chapter consists of two sections. The first part presents an overview of creativity research, perceptions, as well as relevant studies that provide background to the present re search. The second part emphasizes cross cultural studies on creativity perceptions and measurements.
41 Creativity There are tens of thousands of artists, musicians, writers, scientists, and inventors today. What makes some of them stand out from the rest? Although many variables may contribute to determining who stands out from the crowd, certainly creativity is one of them. (Sternberg, Kaufman, & Pretz, 2002, p. xi) In The Creativity Conundrum Sternberg et al. (2002) recognize creativity as a complex phen omenon that identifies exceptionality in someone or something within society or a specific discipline. The emergence and impact of creativity has intrigued researchers across disciplines; as a consequence, they have offered various notions and methods to s crutinize the phenomenon. This gives rise to an extremely diverse range of research perspectives on creativity (Runco, 2007). Historical Overview of Creativity Research assum es that culture shapes human cognitive processes, including perception of creativity research: He, I, and We. Existing in the pre considers creative talent only belonging to geniuses. In Hereditary Genius the first scientific research of the highly creative eminence, Galton (1869) described the interest in creativity research began to grow. Despite the same focus on the individual, the I paradigm replaced the exclusive power of creativity with a new idea that everyone could be creative somehow. Guilford (1950), who brought the potential of creativity research back into the forefront, stated in his American Psychological Association (APA) Presidential Address
42 pioneers productively developed seminal creativity definitions, approaches, and theories (Baer & Kaufman, 2006). For instance, Guilford (1950) defines creativity ped Tests of Creative originality, and elaboration; by far, the TTCT has become the most widely used instrument in creativity research worldwide. Additionally, Sternberg (1985) employed among implicit conceptions of creativity, intelligence, and wisdom. Sinc e the 1980s, some researchers have noticed the overemphasis on individual recently surfaced when scholars became interested in social creativity. Amabile (1982) formal ly introduced the social psychology of creativity and raised two critical questions: how is a creative result different from other solutions, and what conditions best support creative outcomes? To address these questions, scholars have currently employed c ontextual or confluence approaches to explore creativity in its context. Until now, although we have not known a definite path to fully understand creativity, the research community has generated significant progress and suggested the inclusive direction, which integrates multiple levels from individuals to disciplines and cultures, in order to further investigate the complex nature of creativeness (Simonton, 2003).
43 Definitions of Creativity It seems simple to find cases of creative people, products, or situations, but much more complex to empirically delineate what creativity exactly means. Interestingly, Plucker, Beghetto, and Dow (2004) reviewed 90 articles on creativity, published in top tier peer reviewed journals including the Creativity Research Journal and the Journal of Creative Behavior They found that only 34 papers explicitly supplied a definition of creativity, 37 papers implicitly described the construct, and 19 articles did not offer any definitions. The authors hypothesized that researc hers neglected to define creativity some researchers defined the term, their definitions appeared inconsistent. In creativity research, scholars have described creativity di fferently based on their diverse research standpoints; however, we have not found a definite definition of creativity yet (Runco, 2007). Some researchers have referred to creativity as personality while Richards (2007) sees creativity as more normally distributed. Others have thought (Sternberg et al., 2002, p. 1). Regarding varying de finitions of creativity, Kaufman, Plucker, et al. (2008) suggest that, in any research on creativity, it is very important to clarify what a researcher believes creativity means. In this dissertation study, the researcher defines creativity based on the fo llowing frameworks. Four Ps framework To facilitate organization of views on and definitions of creativity, Mooney (1963) proposes four foci: the person, the process, the product, and the press. Creativity involves the people who are able to create new ide as, the process of envisioning new
44 ideas, the outcome of the process, and/or the physical and social environments that encourage new ideas to emerge. In addition, other scholars, such as Simonton (1990) and Mumford et al. (2002), suggest a fifth P, persuas ion, or the ability to persuade The 4 Ps framework has proven feasible in examining most issues of creativity emerging in the literature; therefore, scholars have wide ly recognized and utilized this system (e.g., Feldhusen & Goh, 1995; Howard, Culley, & Dekoninck, 2008; MacKinnon, 1987; Mayer, 1999). In his classic review, Taylor (1988) discussed directions to and definitions of creativity based on the four creativity f oci. Likewise, Kaufman, Plucker, et al. (2008) used the framework to outline their analysis of creativity assessments. Some researchers, however, have referred to particular aspects of the framework. Torrance (1962) focused on the person and process in ref ining Tests of Creative Thinking, which solving skill. Sternberg and Lubart (1991) centered on the person and press in their investment theory, which proposes six interrelated resources of creativity: intellectual abilit ies, knowledge, styles of thinking, personality, motivation, and environment. Amabile (1982) emphasized the product and press in her Consensual Assessment Technique, in which appropriate judges assess creative products in the domain in question. Important A product or response is creative to the extent that appropriate observers independently agree it is creative. Appropriate observers are those familiar with the domain in which the product was created or the response
45 Furthermore, the present study considers the creative product as the fruit of the creative person, process, and press based on the following definition: The overarchi ng definition of creativity seems to favor the idea that creativity involves the creation of new and useful products, including ideas as well as concrete objects; however, from this definition, it follows that creative people are those who create new and u seful products, and creative cognitive processes occur whenever a new and useful product is created. (Mayer, 1999, p. 450) Consensus on novelty and appropriateness Although we have not found a distinct definition of creativity yet, the majority of research ers have generally agreed that creativity involves a novel and appropriate outcome (Amabile, 1996; Kaufman, Plucker, et al., 2008; Mayer, 1999). MacKinnon and it] must to some generation of ideas that are both novel and valuable [or appropri Interestingly, these two solving and decision making styles. Adaptors tend to maintain harmony and refine a problem, while innovators prefer to break a pattern and offer a challenging solution. Treffinger and Talbot (1995) reinforced the relationship between the cognitive styles and perceptions of creative performance. In their study, the adaptive orientation focused on functional aspects of products, w hereas the innovative style emphasized novel aspects. The
46 authors also noted that both adaptors and innovators can be creative in their own way, but literature on the creative person often refers to the innovator. Supporting a close relation between creati vity and innovation, Wehner, Csikszentmihalyi, and Magyari Beck (1991) reviewed 100 dissertation abstracts on creativity in different fields including psychology, business, and history. They found that the disciplines identified creativity differently by u sing terms such as innovation, or artistic and scientific development. The variation in signifying creativity across fields reflects the domain specificity of creativity. Conceptions of creativity in interior design Focusing on allied design areas, includi ng architecture and interior design, Pedersen and Burton (2009) claim that although creativity importantly characterizes designers and their works, design scholars and practitioners rarely define what creativity actually means to them. Thus, the researcher s employed a concept analysis method to analyze concepts of creativity, mainly in the interior design area. Regarding Wilson (1971), concept analysis, which is a part of content analysis, outlines the conceptual definition of a construct by examining ways in which the construct is employed and establishing its main attributes. Analyzing the uses and important aspects of creativity in scholarly journals including the Journal of Interior Design Design Issues Design Studies and the Journal of Architectural Education Pedersen and Burton (2009) concluded that design scholars have used creativity in describing key competencies of (1963) framework, recognizing creativity as a property of the person, process, and/or product, in the design context. Further, the researchers indicated two categories of attributes that appeared most often in definitions of creativity offered in the reviewed journals: ideas and innovation.
47 First, d esign scholars have regularly considered aspects related to ideas 2009, p. 22) as a component of a creative designer or design process. For instance, Portil ideas to the other critical attribute of creativity innovation. Roy (1993) states that as are needed not only to provide the basic concept for an innovative Second, design scholars have always viewed a creative designer or design process in relation to a new original idea or product. Goldschmidt and Tatsa (2005) stress that a concept of novelty frequently appears in assessments of creative design products (e.g., Christi aan, 2002; Dohr, 1982; Kreitler & Casakin, 2009). Considering the consensus, we can assume that, when describing design creativity, scholars in design fields seem to emphasize novelty, which is more obvious to notice and assess than appropriateness. Curren t Applicable Approaches to Study Creativity Similar to the definition, it is important to indicate which research approaches steer this dissertation study. Regarding both individual and contextual factors in cultivating creativity, this research employs co (1988) systems theory, and domain specific perspective to examine the creative performance. Referring to the 4 Ps framework, the current study emphasizes the creative product and its assessment. Furtherm ore, this research employs an implicit explore definitions of creativity.
48 Confluence perspectives Confluence or contextual approaches expand a scope of creativity resear ch beyond the individual into the contextual factor, which allows researchers to explore diverse facets of creativity all together. In the last three decades, the confluence view has become influential in the study of creativity. Many prominent scholars ha ve used this integrated perspective in developing their theories and research (e.g., Amabile, 1996; Sternberg, 2006). Kaufman and Sternberg (2006) clarify that the confluence A majority of the literature defines the approach similarly to this definition. However, those theories, Runco could mislead the promise of the confluence perspective and move the field of creativity back to the individual focus paradigm. We sh ould note that this dissertation study perceives the confluence approach as an endeavor to understand diverse facets of creativity and to move the field forward. Systems theory Csikszentmihalyi dynamic model of creativity that involves three interacting factors: individual, domain, and field. Ac cordingly, the individual gains knowledge in a domain and develops his/her creativity through personality characteristics, cognitive processes, and motivation. In addition, this theory assumes that everyone has potential to be creative. The domain protects and transmits creative outcomes within the context both in present and future.
49 Domains, including cultures and disciplines, appear relatively stable, and through learning, they can transmit valuable ideas without change from one generation to the next. Fi nally, the field comprises experts or stakeholders who influence a domain and judge creative outcomes. Members of the field can either enhance or hinder creativity in the domain. By accepting too many new ideas or being too restrictive, the field can limit new creative outcomes. In addition, the interaction among the three components seems circular in nature, thus a starting point of the system appears purely arbitrary. Domain specificity of creativity A primary question at the heart of creativity research asks whether we can apply creativity to a variety of domains or only a specific one. This question has split research APA Presidential Address the universal camp views creativity as a general process that people share across domains (e.g., Simon, 2001; Torrance, 1962). Torrance (1988) proposes that creativity happens when a person solves a problem, and testing problem solving skills can reveal real life creativeness. Thus, a main sour ce of evidence for domain general creativity comes from paper and pencil tests that mostly gauge divergent thinking skills (Baer, 1998; Mayer, 1999). In contrast, researchers who oppose domain generality argue that divergent thinking represents real world creativity only partially. Reflecting on the problem of divergent thinking, Brown (1989) stated: We can see why the initial promise of divergent thought has not been fulfilled. Implicitly or explicitly, creativity theorists viewed divergent thought as a fa irly general process that would account for a variety of creative conclusion that talent and creativity are domain specific whether by dint of ng, and/or education. (p. 22)
50 Regarding a domain as influential to creativity, the discipline specific camp posits that creativity appears unique and specific within a context (e.g., Kaufman & Baer, 2005; Weisberg, 1999). Baer (1998) indicated that recent studies on the creative performance involving judgments of appropriate experts have supported domain specificity. For example, Kaufman, Baer, Cole, and Sexton (2008) asked poetry experts and college students with no expertise in poetry to judge creativity in a sample of this suggests that judges without appropriate expertise may not be qualified to assess creative products at least in the field of poetry. Similarly in de sign areas, examining evaluations of design educators, design students, and mathematics students on creative design products, Christiaans (2002) concluded that, in assessing creative 53). As Kaufman no doubt that domain specific abilities exist and that such abilities matter very much in Seei ng the merit on both sides, some scholars have compromised the two approaches. Supporting a hybrid position that agrees with both camps, Plucker (2005) which enhanceable a spects of creativity are domain general and domain specific within complex nature of creativity may involve both domain general and specific components. However, this s specific notion which is in line with the system theory described previously. Although we can apply the
51 general process of creativity across contexts, a discipline remains influential in other characteristic s of creativity, particularly in the creative performance and its assessment. Creative product ideas, objects, acts, and all kinds of expressive outcomes created by creative persons. Scholars have defined a creative product in a way to clarify its attributes, such as st be (p. 312 313). Similarly, Averill (2005) considers a creative product as something alue (e.g., Yet we see the same consensus on creativity definitions; most researchers have cited novelty and appropriateness when describing a creative product and have viewed both aspects as equally important when depicting the creative performance. Novelty Mes sick, 1965, p. 313). However, novelty is more easily identified than appropriateness. One can notice immediately what is new or different from others, but one needs knowledge and expertise in selecting what is useful or appropriate to its context. MacKinn creativity, is an analysis of creative products, a determination of what it is that makes of t he person, process, and/or press, MacKinnon also endorses that the examination of
52 creative performance can reveal much about creativity arising from the other aspects. Supporting this notion, scholars in different disciplines have proposed instruments to a ssess creative products. In interior design, Barnard (1992) offered a set of criteria related to creativity, technical skills, and aesthetic pleasing to evaluate creativity in interior design projects. In physics, Eichenberger (1972) developed a measure ba sed original, and elaborative, to gauge creativity in inventive solutions of physics students. In the culinary industry, Horng and Lin (2009) proposed eight criteri a to judge levels of creativity in Chinese cuisine: color; professional technique; aroma, taste and texture; modeling and arrangement; garnish; dishware; handling of ingredients; and overall assessment. Interestingly, these proposed instruments reflect dom ain specific criteria in evaluating creative products. Different from the other areas, assessing creative design works involves technical and aesthetic merits which represent artistic and scientific features of design. Measuring creativity in scientific so lutions relies on characteristics and skills of creative individuals in the sciences, while rating creative cuisine requires sensory criteria as discipline relevant considerations. Without specifying a context, some researchers have offered measurements of creative outcomes to employ universally. The most widely recognized and utilized similarly focusing on creative products, the CPAM and CAT portray different points of view. The CPAM proposes the idea that it is possible to identify qualities of the creative outcome and to disprove the misconception of creativity by using a systematic measure.
53 Th us, the CPAM aims to enable laypeople to evaluate creative products in any field. On the contrary, Amabile developed the CAT based on the notion that only proper judges in the domain in question are qualified to assess creative artifacts in that area. Inst ead of definitions in assessing creative products. Creative Product Analysis Matrix (CPAM): Besemer and Treffinger (1981) synthesized over 90 studies on creative pr oducts and found more than 125 specific attributes of the creative performance. The researchers classified the attributes into three general dimensions: (1) novelty, (2) resolution, and (3) elaboration and synthesis. Novelty implies the newness of the prod uct. Resolution refers to the degree to which the product meets the requirements of the problem. Elaboration and synthesis includes the development and stylistic considerations of the product. By using semantic pairs of adjectives to measure the three main improved the CPAM model and named the updated instrument the Creative Product Semantic Scale (CPSS). The researchers posit that, regardless of specific fields, both ul observation of created products and p. 287). Many studies on creative products mostly in business areas that recruited laypeople rather than professionals as judges have utilized the model and instrument (e.g., Horn & Salvendy, 2006; White, Shen, & Smith, 2002; White & Smith, 2001). and Besemer (2006) found that the CPSS has benefited those areas in terms of testing for marketability, product design, product improvement, advertising, team processes,
54 screening of ideas, and diagnosis of brand problems. The use of the CPSS to determine market success has confirmed that not only novelty bu t also resolution and style play important roles in characterizing creative products. Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT): 2006). Employing panels of actual expert judges in a given domain, the CAT involves evaluations of real products that are assessed in the same way that creativity is assessed in reality, not in any controlled environment. Kaufman, Baer, and Cole (2009) assert tha t the technique is independent from any particular theory of creativity; its only theory suggests that experts in the domain in question readily identify creativity when co nception of creativity are primary requisites. Amabile (1983) clarifies validity of the judge reliability is equivalent to construct validity. If appropriate judges independently agree that a given product is highly cr eative, then it Many studies have proved that the CAT is valid and reliable to evaluate creativity in a wide range of products. Amabile (1996) and her colleagues validated the CAT in over 30 experimental studies that recruited experts to judge creativity in collages and poems. The ratings consistently showed relatively good inter rater reliabilities, generally in the .70 to .90 range. The researchers also noted that the number of judges typically affect the relia bility; the more judges, the higher the inter judge reliability. To expand the
55 to evaluate levels of creativity in 19 musical compositions and 14 invented stories created by three to five year old children. With inter judge reliabilities of .86 for the compositions and .70 for the invented stories, the results confirmed the CAT as a re liable method to assess creativity in musical compositions and stories by the children. Recently, Horng and Lin (2009) adopted the CAT to evaluate creative culinary products. They asked nine culinary experts to rate creations made by 28 college students ba sed on 34 criteria. Although the coefficient of .98 suggested a nearly unanimous level of agreement in the judge consensus, the researchers noted that the method might need additional process based dimensions that allow judges to assess creativity in the p roduction procedure. Amabile initially emphasized the role of expert judges in the CAT process. Nonetheless, some researchers have proposed a variation in the selection of judges. Recruiting experts in a specific field may be difficult and expensive; there fore, Kaufman and his colleagues have tried to prove that non experts could be qualified for the CAT. Kaufman et al. (2009) asked 10 writers, as expert judges, and 106 college students, as novice judges, to evaluate a sample of writings produced by 205 und ergraduates. The results indicated high inter rater reliabilities of .92 and .93 for the two judge groups. However, a correlation analysis showed that novice ratings could predict only 50% of the time in expert ratings. This suggests that novices could not replace experts in determining creative writings. In another study, Kaufman, Lee, Baer, and Lee (2007) consuming nature of the products (asking participants to write stories or draw pictures) and the ratings (g etting appropriate writings
56 as products for lay judges to assess. Four graduate students in psychology and history rated creativity in 81 captions produced by college students. Based on inter judge reliabilities ranging from .58 to .81, the researchers advocated that captions could be a reliable sample of products for measuring creativity. We should note that the purpose of Kaufman et al. (2007) did not correspond to the aim of the CAT, which is to reflect the real world judgment of creativity. Using non qualified judges may compromise the validity of the technique and misguidedly diminish the role of discipline specificity. Assessments of creative interior design products Barnar d (1992) adapted the CAT to assess creativity in 18 interior design projects illustrating an enclosed entry space for an exhibition hall. The researcher recruited 13 educators and 31 practitioners as interior design experts to judge the projects created by female senior students enrolled in an accredited interiors program. To evaluate the criteria: creativity, technical skills, and aesthetic aspects. These dimensions included creati vity, novelty, originality, complexity, technical merit, functionality, craftsmanship, artistic merit, thematic expression, appropriateness, aesthetic appeal, and liking. Inter rater reliabilities of all criteria showed acceptable agreement between educato rs and practitioners. Overall, creativity was highly associated with appropriateness, complexity, uniqueness, and originality. When analyzing ratings of the two judge groups separately, Barnard found that educators evaluated creativity in relation to the a rtistic and aesthetic merits rather than the technical and functional aspects. Conversely, designers rather considered creativity regarding the technical and functional qualities. This could be due ns. When grading student projects, educators typically separate techniques and functions of the designs from the
57 more subjective aspects, such as aesthetics and creativity. In contrast, when practicing in reality, designers tend to separate aesthetics of d esign presentations from the more basic requirements of the designs, such as technicality, functionality, and creativity. As we can see, although the experts agree with each other on what creativity is, they might differently consider attributes in determi ning levels of creativity. Examining evaluations of entry level interior design portfolios, Levins (2006) attempted to shed light on criteria used in assessing portfolios. She used the CPAM as a primary theoretical model, emphasizing attributes of creative products: novelty, resolution, and style. In addition to the three dimensions, the researcher inserted overall creativity and hiring potential to connect the portfolio evaluation to its actual role in the hiring process. Levins employed 21 senior level de signers who practiced in the public sector to assess 12 digital portfolios created by graduating students from an accredited interior design program. The researcher utilized survey and interview methods to collect data. Judges assessed each portfolio on th e given criteria using a quantifiable rating form, and then responded to open ended questions to elaborate on their assessments. Inter judge reliabilities of all criteria exceeded the acceptable level of .70. The results showed that the dimensions strongly related to one another. Overall creativity was influenced the most by novelty (originality of portfolios) and then style (appearance of portfolios). However, overall creativity, style, and resolution (functionality of portfolios) significantly affected hi ring potential. The qualitative findings contradicted the assessment results. When discussing creative portfolios, practitioners mostly referred to the aspects of style and resolution rather than novelty. Further, designers recognized resolution as the mos t important attribute when defining creativity.
58 Based on the above studies, we see the importance of novelty in predicting overall (2009) research indicating that design s cholars often view novelty as a critical attribute of design creativity. Further, Barnard (1992) found that the other main attribute of creative design products was appropriateness, which is comparable to resolution as defined in the CPAM. Similarly, Levin s (2006) indicated the leading role of resolution in creativity definitions and creative portfolios. These findings corresponded with the consensus of creativity definitions, which involves novelty and appropriateness. Implicit theories of creativity Dweck co ncern perceptions of psychological constructs that laypeople hold in their mind (Ster nberg, 1985). Giving a rationale for employing this approach in research, Sternberg are, to find out how people process the information. It is important to know t his, in part According to literature on creativity based on the discipline specific approach, scholars have often utilized implicit theories to explore the nature of creative persons. Sternb erg (1985) asked professors of art, business, philosophy, and physics to describe characteristics of creative talents in their correlated fields. Professors reported that the creative person appeared unorthodox, perspicacious, appreciative of the arts and
59 imaginative, intelligent and able to think differently, reflective and flexible, and energetic and goal directed. Interestingly, reinforcing domain specificity, the results also revealed that art professors accentuated originality, imagination, and experim entation as the creative attributes, while those in business emphasized the ability to develop new ideas. In a related study tapping into perceptions of creativity in design professions, Portillo (2002) employed implicit theories to examine creativity conc eptions of faculty in interior perceptions, the researcher utilized the Adjective Check List (ACL) to embody traits of the creative person. The findings showed that over 7 5% of the professors agreed that creative interior designers, architects, landscape architects, and engineers were imaginative, inventive, and adventurous. In focusing on interior design, the creative designer appeared significantly more individualistic an d original than those in the other three disciplines. Further, the profile of the creative designer related more closely to the creative landscape architect than either the creative architect or engineer. These results support the role of domain specific a spects of creativity even in allied design disciplines. Creativity across Cultures Given the importance of creativity and the current view that it appears normally distributed, there is no doubt that creativity attracts interest from countries around the world. Trying to understand the phenomenon better, scholars in many nations have paid attention to creativity research; however, their focuses seem varied. For example, while U.S. scholars place an emphasis on both theoretical and applied works on creativi ty (Baer & Kaufman, 2006), Asian researchers mostly focus on applications of creativity in educational and organizational settings (e.g., Choe, 2006; Niu, 2006).
60 Worldwide Research on Creativity Examining the state of creativity research worldwide, in The International Handbook of Creativity (Kaufman & Sternberg, 2006), prominent scholars reviewed research on creativity in over 80 countries. In the final chapter, Simonton (2006) [B]ecause each national tradition is a distinct cultural creation, this research is by no means homogenous. On the contrary, the research carried out in each part of the world to some extent reflects the special needs, values, and concerns of a given heritage. (p 4 90) Simonton also summarized that cultural traditions influence the global state of creativity research according to the following three issues. The first issue discussed two main aspects of studies on creativity: basic and applied. Basic research, which addresses fundamental questions about the nature of creativity, has gained attention from creativity scholars mostly in developed nations, such as the United States and France. Recently receiving greater attention, applied research, which explores practica l applications of creativity, has been striking in industrialized nations, such as South Korea and Taiwan, where creative talent can elevate their status in the world economy. Additionally, applied research has mostly focused on two areas: creativity in ed ucation and in the workplace; by far, studies on creativity in education have dominated applied research. Leung et al. (2004) inserted that cross cultural creativity studies have concerned creativity in learning settings rather than in organizations. The s econd issue regarded theories on creativity across cultures. Thanks to the prevalence of applied research, there is a paucity of developing new theoretical views on creativity. Creativity researchers worldwide have scrutinized the construct based on Wester
61 model. The final issue concerned methodological techniques used to investigate creativity. Among numerous methods, the psychometric methodology, which posits that creativity can be quantified by appropriate measures (Mayer, 1999), has dominated Thinking (TTCT) h ave become the most widely employed measure universally due to its repute, reliability, and convenience to use. TTCT gauges creativity in writing and drawing responses based on four dimensions: fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. Lung et al (2004) argue that although the test seems to be objective, cultural biases can considerably affect interpretations of responses. Hence, researchers should be wary to employ the instrument in any cross cultural study. Issues on Cross Cultural Creativity R esearch Cultural influences do not appear only in creativity measurements. Lubart (1999) direction of creativity toward certain domains of activity or certain social gro ups, and the creativity, we should also investigate its contextual attributes. This implies the need for more studies on creativity in different cultural contexts. About a decade ago, Raina oriented rather than inter national, resulting in the neglect of cross the current literature on creativity has indicated that scholars increasingly pay attention to cross cultural studies (e.g., Chen et al., 2005; Kim, 2005; Leung et al., 2004). Lau, Hui, and Ng (2004a) reviewed research on creativity in the East and the West, which basically focused on the Chinese and U.S. points of view. The researchers
62 found three critical drawbacks in interpretations of creativity across cultures. The first pitfall shows that Western researchers regularly describe Oriental cultures and behaviors regarding some ideology, such as Confuciani sm, and concepts, such as collectivism. Cheng (2004) and Lau (1996) claim that, besides Confucianism, other religious philosophies, such as Taoism and Buddhism, have also dominated Asian cultures. Second, holding the Western view on creativity to assess Ea stern creative talent, researchers from the West usually consider Eastern behaviors and beliefs, such as conforming, group oriented, and face saving, as barriers to cultivating creativity. Finally and most importantly, studying creativity in the East or ac ross cultures, some For instance, based on the Western conception of creativity, Kim (2005) described that char acteristics of Asian societies, including tightly organized society, collectivism, hierarchical organization, and face consciousness, limit the ability of Asians to think, feel, and act creatively. Kapur, Subramanyam, and Shah (1997) asked 20 Indian scient ists about creativity in Indian science. Surprisingly, most of the scientists refused creativeness in their field and described themselves as being less creative than ia scientists exposed that cultural factors related to obedience, religion, and social etiquette hindered their development of creativity, and the emotional connection to othe rs in their society caused lack of independence, which is an attribute of creativity in the West. These cases could critically mislead an understanding of Eastern creativity.
63 Similar to Lau et al. (2004a), in a constructive review of literature on cultural variations in creativity, Westwood and Low (2003) state that using Western theories, conceptions, and research to examine creativity in other contexts often results in three typical problems. First, it tends to impose a universalistic concept in interpret ing creativity processes, structures, and functions. The second problem is to prefer one approach to creativity while devaluing other approaches. The final problem entails accepting a false generalization, overemphasizing assumed cultural differences, and these problems, the authors recommended an insight into the culture in question. It is important to state that adopting the Western approaches and methodologies to s tudy creativity in the East is not prohibited; however, the core statement is that we should involve contributions of local experts familiar with a given culture and should be more critical of the interpretation. Definitions of Creativity across Cultures M valued, but diverse cultures do appear to selectively nurture specific domains of differen tly. In a classic review of research on creativity across the East and the West, Lubart (1990, 1999) broadly differentiated creativity conceptions held in the cultures. In general, the Western perception views creativeness regarding a novel and appropriate product. On the other hand, the Eastern conception places a focus on the value of the internal process for the individual rather than the value of the outcome. Lubart also claims that cultural creation myths and religious beliefs affect concepts of creati vity in each culture. Westerners usually consider that both human creation and
64 creative processes appear in a linear movement toward a new point (von Franz, 1995). We can see the linear pattern in many process models of creativity, such as the four stages of the creative process: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification (Wallas, 1926). In contrast, Easterners view the human creation and creative processes as a circular conception. Creation does not necessarily mean newness; it can represent r einterpretation or rediscovery. According to Hallman (1970), a Hindu perspective views creativity as a spiritual process of re 373). Many cross cultural creativity studies (e.g., Chen et al., 2005; Misra et al., 2006; differences in creativity perceptions. However, Paletz (2003) argued that studie s that Lubart reviewed involved serious defects that could misrepresent actual conceptions of creativity, especially in the East. Paletz pointed out that the reviewed studies relied on incomparable evidence from the cultures, such that they compared psycho logical data from the West with anthropological data from the East. Moreover, we should be skeptical whether Western explicit theories of creativity could be compared with Eastern implicit theories of creativity, and whether Western scientific empirical wo rk could be compared with Eastern philosophies. In her dissertation research, Paletz (2003) employed the cross cultural psychological lens to examine how East Asians and Americans valued novelty and appropriateness as the attributes in the consensus defini tion of creativity. A sample consisted of 109 Chinese, 177 Japanese, and 239 American college students. To explore cultural differences and similarities in perceptions of creativity, the researcher
65 utilized many questionnaire instruments, including a scena rio and product assessment on the novelty and appropriateness dimensions. Overall, the findings revealed that the three cultural groups all recognized novelty in their judgments of creativity. As Lubart (1999) suggested, in assessing creativity, the import ance of newness appears the same across cultures. The cultural variation existed in the aspect of appropriateness. American and Japanese students seemed to value this aspect in creative products more than their Chinese counterparts. This implied that the A merican and Japanese conceptualized creativity in the same way, but differently from what the Chinese different from Western societies, it should be pointed out that Asian socie same, so they may not perceive creativity in the same way either. Current Applicable Studies on Creativity across Cultures In line with the variation in defining creativity across countries, cross cultural creativity works appear diverse. To address the research questions, this dissertation study reviews studies that are most relevant to the creative product and U.S. and Thai perspectives on creativity, as the research focuses. The present section firstly presents cross cultural studies on the assessment of creative products. These works represent the majority of cross cultural creativity research which mostly involves American and Chinese cultures (Kaufman & Sternberg, 2006; Lau et al., 2004; Nui & Sternberg, 2001). Afterward, since U.S. research on creativity was discussed earlier in the chapter, this section specifically focuses on Thai creativity studies.
66 Assessments of creative products across cultures Niu and Sternberg (2001) explored cultural impacts on creativity in artistic tasks and their assessments. A sample of 76 American and 63 Chinese college students made a collage and drew an extra terrestrial alien. The researchers recruited nine American a nd nine Chinese graduate students in psychology without artistic training to judge the collages and drawings based on creativity, likeability, appropriateness, and technical quality. The judges assessed all artworks relative to one another and rated each o f them on a 7 point scale. The results showed that creativity appeared highly related to likeability, one of the aesthetic qualities in the artworks. Evaluations of both judge groups did not indicate that judges favored products from their own culture over those from the other, which suggested no cultural biases in assessments. Chinese judges had higher concurrence on their judgments than American judges. Additionally, American raters tended to set a higher standard than their Chinese counterparts when rati ng dimensions of creativity, likeability, and technical quality. Chen et al. (2002) also examined cultural impacts on artistic creativity and its evaluation. Similar to the previous study, 50 European American and 48 Chinese undergraduates in social scienc es created drawings of three geometric shapes: triangle, rectangle, and circle. The researchers asked six European American and eight Chinese college students enrolled in social science courses to evaluate a total of 294 drawings on creativity, uniqueness, technical quality, and liking, using a 5 point scale. Evaluations of the judge groups revealed significantly high inter judge reliabilities on every criterion, which indicated no significant cultural biases in this study. Supporting the above study, a cor relation coefficient of .95 in this research confirmed a high relationship between creativity and liking, one of the aesthetic aspects of the drawings.
67 Exploring correlations among age, culture, levels of artistic skills, the technical and aesthetic qualit ies of drawings, and artistic giftedness, Rostan, Pariser, and Gruber (2002) compared assessments of drawings between North Americans and Chinese North Americans. The researchers gathered drawings created by 160 children with different levels of artistic s kills in different age groups and juvenile drawings of 32 acclaimed Western artists whose adult works were accepted as highly creative. The authors classified a total of 89 drawings into two types: life and imagination. A panel of judges included 15 North Americans educated in North America and 15 Chinese North Americans educated in China. Judges assessed the drawings on aesthetic success, technical skill, and creativity, using a 7 point scale. Only North American judges rated life drawings of children with a high level of artistic skills more creative and technically and aesthetically successful than those of children with a low level of artistic skills. Both groups of judges evaluated the juvenile drawings with the highest scores on technical skill and low est scores on creativity, which endorsed an important role of technical skill in developing artistic creativity potential. Thai studies on creativity There is a paucity of creativity research conducted in or even referring to Thailand. Many Thai creativity scholars have written their research papers in Thai. Moreover, most of the literature on creativity has been located in local libraries, which means it is inaccessible online. Based on the limited body of current Thai creativity research, the researcher s elected two studies originally written in Thai to review since they are most pertinent to the present study and constructive for addressing the research questions. Saengpanya (2005) reviewed previously published studies and pointed out three problems in Th ai creativity research. The first one concerns a definition of creativity. The
68 based on the impact of Western classic theories (e.g., Guilford, 1967; Torrance, 1962, 19 88). Saengpanya suggested that, instead of emphasizing only the person, Thai creativity scholars should also include the process and the product into the definition. The second problem results from the definition. Thai researchers have mostly relied on tes ts of divergent thinking, especially Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), to assess creativity of an individual. However, Thavornrattanavanich (1998) argued that al problem concerns a research sample. Thai creativity studies have usually recruited elementary or secondary school students as a research sample, which limits research applications to enhance creativity ability of college students and adults in Thailand Addressing these issues, Saengpunya (2005) conducted a case study to examine highly creative Thai professionals in three different areas to provide an insight into Thai creative talents across disciplines. The sample contained nine eminences in sciences (n = 3), arts and design (n = 3), and education (n = 3). All of the participants had received national recognition and took part in innovative revolutions in their respective fields. The researcher employed mixed instruments, consisting of the in depth int erview, Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and Maudsley Personality Inventory (MPI), to collect data. The findings disclosed common personalities shared by the creative professionals, including open to new experiences, love to learn and solve a problem, e njoy thinking and reflecting processes, respect aesthetic and originality values, highly engage and commit to their works, consider themselves as creative, and have sensational feeling; only practitioners in the arts and design area described imagination i n their creations.
69 researcher concluded that creative works in the disciplines under study had v ery high quality of resolution, representing appropriateness and practicality of the performance. However, only works in sciences and arts and design contained high quality of novelty and style, showing newness and stylistic qualities of the product Compa red to works in the other areas, scientific creative outcomes appeared complicated but not appealing, whereas artistic creative products showed neatness and compositional appeal. Creative works in education appeared well understandable. The researcher also noted that the eminences considered novelty most important in developing creative products in their fields; however, they had the most difficult time to express the quality of newness in their works. Interestingly, although this study employed a small sam ple size, the findings seemed comprehensive and offered a constructive image of highly creative Thai persons in diverse areas. In contrast, employing a large sample size, Panjamawat (2005) adopted the quantitative approach to scrutinize creative thinking o f Thai undergraduates. The researcher recruited 288 students majoring in the following disciplines: humanities, biological sciences, social sciences, and physical sciences and technology which included architecture. Research instruments contained TTCT meas uring levels of creative thinking based on fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration, Advanced Progressive Metrics gauging levels of intelligence, MBTI identifying types of personality, and a questionnaire asking about demographics, motivation, an d environments. The findings from the TTCT showed that, compared to the norm, Thai college students
70 generally had the medium level of creative thinking. In looking at the four dimensions, on average, Thai undergraduates had the high level of elaboration, t he medium level of fluency, and the low level of originality and flexibility. Correspondingly, Supapon (2004) found that Thai college students could think creatively in the medium level and had the low level of originality. A comparison among the fields un der study indicated that students in biological sciences performed significantly better than those in the other majors on overall creative thinking, fluency, originality, and flexibility. A possible explanation could be that teaching and learning in biolog ical sciences highly focused on scientific process, which reflects creative thinking process. It is important to note that this research revealed the overall level of creative thinking in Thai college students, but did not suggest how the results related t respective disciplines. Summary This chapter starts by reviewing pertinent literature on creativity based on the Western point of view. proposes three main paradigms of creativity research: He, I, and We. Shifting a focus from geniuses to persons in the first two periods, creativity scholars have emphasized individual and contextual influences on creativity in the We paradigm. Recent defi nitions of creativity also reflect the two factors. products, and/or physical and social environments. The consensus on novelty and lity to create a new product that is also appropriate to its relevant context. In the design field, Pedersen and Burton (2009) claim that the majority of scholars often value the novelty aspect in describing creativity.
71 With the discipline specific perspec tive, applicable approaches to the present theory involving interactions among persons, domains, and fields. With a focus on the creative product, the present chapter rev iews the most widely used measures of creative products: the Creative Product Analysis Matrix (CPAM) and Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT). The CPAM supports the domain generality, whereas the CAT accentuates the discipline specificity of creativity. S tudies on evaluations of creative interior design products have adopted both methods. The other part of the chapter reviews relevant literature on creativity across cultures. As Simonton (2006) concluded, worldwide creativity research has focused on applie d research, especially in learning settings and workplaces. Creativity research worldwide has mostly relied on Western views and theories. Lau et al. (2004a) and Westwood and Low (2003 ) argue that the use of Western views in another context without critica l considerations could cause cultural biases and mislead concepts of creativity. Focusing on perceptions of creativity in the West and the East, Lubart (1990, 1999) proposes that Westerners consider creativity in terms of products, while Easterners emphasi ze the value of internal processes behind products. Paletz (2003) she found that the American and Japanese conceptualized creativity in the same way, but differently fr om the way the Chinese perceived. Applicable studies to the present research included assessments of artistic tasks across cultures (Chen et al., 2002; Niu & Sternberg, 2001; Rostan et al., 2002) The studies compared judgments of Chinese and American samples and found no
72 creativity research in Thailand, this review encountered little literature, but found pertine nt studies. Saengpunya (2005) claims that Thai scholars mostly associate creativity definitions with divergent thinking and utilize divergent thinking tests to gauge creativity in a sample of school students. Studying Thai creative talents and their works, Saengpanya revealed that eminences considered novelty as the most important aspect of creative outcomes; at the same time, it was very difficult for them to express novelty in their performance. Using Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, Panjamawat (2005) exposed that Thai college students, as a whole, had a high level of elaborate ideas, but had a low level of original ideas.
73 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction Probably every researcher has a Mount Everest or two which he dreams of eativity, too, there are several heights to which an easily administered and mechanically scored test which will predict actual, real world creative behavior. (Davis, 1975, p. 75) Thirty five years ago, Gary Davis, a pioneer in studying creativity, claimed that researchers appeared on the cusp of developing a measure to gauge creativity. At that time, the researcher s focused on assessments of creative persons and processes as the key to the holy grail of creativeness (Albert & Runco, 1999). Nevertheless, none of them has yet been able to unlock the myth of creativity. Possibly, those researchers may have underestimat ed the diverse facets of creativity. In the past decades, creativity scholars have realized that, besides the person and process, the multi dimensioned nature of creativity involves other aspects, such as social systems and disciplines. This has hampered t he development of the absolute measure to fully assess creativeness (Kaufman, Plucker, et al., 2008). Similarly, Davis (1975) posits two reasons hindering the improvement of creativity assessment. First, creativity appears in various forms, thus an instrum ent that will completely gauge the phenomenon should be very general. Second, it is difficult to validate whether a tool really measures creativity, and not other closely related criteria such as intelligence of a person or aesthetic appeal of a product. I n line with this, Piirto (2009) states that current measures of creativity fall short in validity. Surveys, such as the Adjective Check List, and divergent thinking tests, such as the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking may highly correlate to other standa rdized tests. However, they
74 thinking skill, and need other measures to fully reflect his/her creative performance in reality. Likewise, a product or performance evaluati on may capture the essence of real world creativity, but it seems to lack relations to standardized tests. This reinforces creativity as a multi faceted construct which needs multiple methods to assess. Giving a suggestion for developing an instrument, Tre ffinger (1987) proposes that creativity assessment becomes formidable owing to lack of a unifying theory to guide scholars; nevertheless, using broad categories in creativity frameworks could help direct researchers to develop an effective creativity measu re. Among proposed frameworks, creativity researchers have mainly employed the four Ps aspects of creativity, involving creative persons, processes, products, presses or environments (Feldhusen & Goh, 1995; Kaufman, Plucker, et al., 2008). Some scholars al so include persuasion, the ability to persuade others of creative merit essential to making ideas a reality (e.g., Dudeck & Hall, 1991; Mumford et al., 2002; Simonton, 1990). Most creativity researchers believe that understanding the creative person is the key to understanding creativity. Thus, the majority of proposed focus on the creative process, while others have more interest in an output of the process the creative product. Creativity assessment rarely highlights the press and persuasion, except retrospectively in the biographies of highly creative talents. Besides the above aspects, Amabile (1982) maintains that two broad approaches frame creativity measurement: pa per and pencil tests and judge evaluations. Creativity tests have been basically developed to assess creativity in either the person or process.
75 The prototype for many other tests is the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT; Torrance, 1998). The TTCT has become the most widely used creativity instrument other standardized tests. Due to its simple administration, the test has been translated into at least 35 language s and employed in many countries (Kim, 2006). However, scholars have continually reported limitations of the TTCT. Millar (1995) and Saeki, Fan, and Van Dusen (2001) found that cultural factors can affect and distort scores of the tests. Most importantly, the TTCT has been claimed to have questionable psychometric quality and to measure divergent thinking ability rather than creativity ( Almeida, Prieto, Ferrando, Oliveira, & Ferrndiz, 2008; Kaufman, Plucker, et al., 2008). The judge evaluation approach ten ds to evaluate real world creative performance better than the test approach. Recently, proposed instruments using judges to assess creativity have placed an emphasis on the product (e.g. Amabile, 1996; Balchin, 2006; Besemer & Treffinger, 1981; Horng & Li regarded judge Assessment Technique (CAT). Although both of them focus on assessing creativity in a product, they maintain different perspectives on abstract value of the creative product. On the one hand, the CPAM aims to establish a common, objective metric for everyone to evaluate creative works. On the other hand, the CAT reinforces domain specific As we see in the above review, there have been many proposed measurements, but none of them can completely assess the complex nature of creativi ty. This may be
76 because the majority of creativity assessment has favored the quantitative research approach. Mayer (1999) posits that a critical challenge for creativity studies in the 21 st ill move the field from either a quantitative or qualitative approach by itself is insufficient to solve this complex problem. Thus, a mixed nother step forward, utilizing the help us achieve the complexity in creativity research. The current dissertation research focuses on the creative product as the fruits of the person, process, and press. The research purpose is to examine the assessment, attributes, and definition of creativity in the context of interior design across Thai and U.S. viewpoints. To accomplish the objective, this study employs the judge eva luation and mixed methodology approach. The researcher asked Thai and U.S. experienced designers to assess Thai entry level interior design portfolios in a digital version and to elaborate on their evaluation and personal perception of design creativity. T his chapter illustrates the research methodology by addressing the study design, the pilot study and development of portfolios for assessment, the sample of portfolios, the participants, the assessment method, the instruments, and the study procedure. Stud y Design To thoroughly examine creativity in the context of interior design, this dissertation study employs a field based research approach requiring the researcher to collect data from participants in an actual setting. Field based research offers an ins ight into a phenomenon under study and enhances generalizability of study results to a real world situation (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998). Figure 3 1 illustrates the overall methodology used in
77 this research. The first step was to develop a set of portfolios to assess. The present study utilized portfolios in a digital version because of a recent trend in the design market that favors convenient and economical aspects of digital portfolios (Linton, 2008). From a total of 23 portfolios created by a class of Thai i nterior design students, six pilot judges with experience in practicing and reviewing portfolios in interior design agreed on 12 portfolios as a sample to review. The chosen portfolios exhibited a range in quality: high medium and low creative. The nex t step was to recruit appropriate expert judges. The researcher asked 20 Thai and 16 U.S. senior level designers, who review portfolios and make hiring decisions for their design firms, to assess the sample of portfolios on overall creativity, hiring poten tial, and creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal. In the data collecting process, the present research utilized mixed methods study data in 14). The researcher integrated survey and interview methods into a three stage data collection. The first stage was to show designer participants an overview of selected portfolios. Then, the designers evaluated each portfolio individually. Finally, the designers responded to questions regarding their portfolio assessments and personal concepts of design creativity. With an emphasis on quantitative data, 75% of th e overall data came from the portfolio evaluation, while the other 25% were qualitative data gathered from the interview. The use of both quantitative and qualitative data as a source of triangulation enhances the confidence of the analysis (Denzin, 1984; Drew, Hardman, & Hosp, 2008). Additionally, the researcher analyzed data from the portfolio
78 assessment using descriptive and inferential statistical analyses, and analyzed interview responses using content analysis. Findings from both analyses were also ex amined to determine whether they corresponded to each other or not. Pilot Study and Development of Portfolios for Assessment Any research projects should conduct a pilot study in order to mitigate any problems and oversights that might occur in the full st udy (Drew et al., 2008; Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). In the present research, a two phase pilot study was conducted prior to the data collection. The researcher conducted the first phase of the pilot test in Bangkok, Thailand. Purposes of this pre test were to classify collected portfolios into groups for a sample selection and to examine the quality of the tools and procedures. Then, the researcher carried out the second phase in Florida to evaluate the range of selected portfolios and to test the revised in struments and procedures. In the first phase of the pilot test, four Thai interior practitioners, who possessed characteristics of the research participants, participated in the portfolio evaluation. All of them were interior designers with more than five years of professional experience. They also had experience reviewing portfolios and were involved in making hiring decisions. A sample of design portfolios included 23 portfolio drafts in a digital format created by Thai senior interior design students. Th e sample was presented using a Microsoft Office PowerPoint slide show that was displayed on a laptop computer. To control the equality of all the portfolios, a total of four slides were allotted for each portfolio. The researcher arranged portfolios in ran dom order to prevent confounding factors related to the The evaluation procedure started by showing each designer an overall slide show so that he/she could have an overall sense of the portfolio quality. Then, with no time
79 restrictions, a designer judge viewed the slide show and assessed the portfolios based on 13 provided dimensions, consisting of aesthetic appeal, appropriateness, cohesion, craftsmanship, elaboration, functionality, novelty, originality, surprise, te chnical quality, overall creativity, personal preference, and potential to be hired. The researcher allowed the designer to manually display each slide, while recording the time he/she spent reviewing each slide. After completing the evaluation, each judge responded to interview questions and gave feedback on the evaluation instrument and procedure. Results from this pre test showed that the 23 portfolios represented a range in quality and appeared to vary in terms of their perceived levels of creativity, classified into excellent average and poor creative groups. Due to the demanding evaluation session, all of the pilot judges agreed that in the actual study if the number of slides increased, the number of portfolios should decrease. Further, they argu ed that 13 dimensions seemed to be taxing for the judges to assess a portfolio. Importantly, the pilot test showed that an hour seemed to be the maximum amount of time that the designers could realistically devote to the study. s and a further review of previous published literature to see which dimensions of creativity appear most frequently, the researcher reduced the assessment from 13 to 6 dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, aesthetic appeal, overall creati vity, and hiring potential. Since the pilot judges spent a range of time, from 35 to 70 minutes, assessing the portfolios, the researcher timed the overview and evaluation slide shows employed in the actual study in order to eliminate external factors rela ted to time spent evaluating portfolios. Additionally, once the first pre testing stage was completed, the researcher and designer judges sorted
80 portfolios into groups exhibiting high (n = 4), medium (n = 4), and low creativity (n = 4); these 12 portfolios became the sample of portfolios in the final study. In the second phase of the pilot study, the researcher asked two interior design educators from University of Florida to participate. Both of them practiced in interior design and had experience reviewin g design portfolios. Each educator was scheduled for a one hour block to complete the assessment. The educators began with viewing an overall slide show of the 12 portfolios; this slide show contained 197 images timed to advance to the next image after a s econd. Then, the educators individually evaluated each portfolio by watching another slide show timed to play the next slide after ten seconds. Each portfolio was identified by a portfolio number and a white blank slide placed between portfolios allowed fo r a visual break. Finally, the researcher asked the educators to respond to interview questions. The educators agreed that the sample of portfolios exhibited a range in quality. Table 3 1 presents creativity rankings of the portfolios evaluated by expert j udges. Thai and U.S. designers, as the actual raters in this study, did not rate low creative portfolios as low as the pilot judges did. However, Figure 3 valuations. This affirms validity of the selected portfolios. Also, the educators viewed that 12 portfolios seemed appropriate for the one hour assessment process, but the portfolio slides ran too quickly to assess the criteria reliably. Further, the white slide separating portfolios, instead of offering visual relief, created a strong contrast distracting the judges. In the interview phase, the faculty members also mentioned that it would be helpful to see the portfolios a second time to allow for more spe cific feedback. Based on this comment, the finalized
81 assessment included fewer slides (184 slides) and allowed for the increased viewing time. For the slide show, the researcher used a neutral grey slide to separate the portfolios; this seemed to work well paper featured thumbnail examples of each portfolio and its projects to give the designers a ready reference during their interviews. Sample of Portfolios A portfolio plays an important role in allied design areas as a tool for assessing a An entry level portfolio represents a passport enabling design students to cross from the educational to the professional world. D esigners traditionally create their portfolio in a print format; however, nowadays a digital version of the portfolio whether it is a Web site, slide show, or PDF, seems to increasingly gain preference from innovative design firms (Eisenman, 2006). The s ample of design portfolios employed in this study consisted of 12 Thai entry level interior design portfolios presented in a digital format. These portfolios were the graduatin g class of 2009. The present study selected the Interior Architecture program at Thammasat University because of its institutional standing and innovative curriculum in Thailand. In the country, Thammasat University is one of the top two most prestigious u niversities. Among more than 30 institutes offering an interior architecture/design archite year interior architecture curriculum emphasizing research, analysis, and multi disciplinary
82 combination of courses and experiences will provide students an opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, and insights needed to solve design problems creatively and the curricul um and faculty encourage students to develop their design projects, including a portfolio, innovatively and appropriately. When originally submitted, the 12 portfolios were in different digital formats and included a varying range of projects. The largest portfolio contained 67 images while the smallest had eight images. To help standardize the sample, the researcher employed only the following projects: a corporate and hospitality project, a product design work, and an individualized thesis project, to rep resent each portfolio. These projects were chosen since they matched with design specialties of practitioner judges. Further, the researcher formatted the portfolios into a single Microsoft PowerPoint slide show while maintaining the content and integrity of the portfolios exactly the same as their original formats. The background of portfolio slides was neutral grey. The number of slides contained in each of the portfolios ranged from 8 to 21 with an average of 15.33 slides. Participants The present disser tation research recruited a total of 36 Thai and U.S. designer participants from 17 design firms selected based on specific criteria: location, services, and professional stature. Twenty Thai participants came from nine Bangkok based firms and 16 U.S. part icipants came from eight Atlanta based firms (Table 3 2). Bangkok is businesses including a comprehensive design district ( Mauriello,
83 2009) Compatible to Bangkok, Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the state of Georgia. As one of the fastest growing urban areas in the U.S., the city offers a competitive desi gn market in the Southern Region (Apple, 2000). Additionally, design cultures in these two cities, which emphasize international design styles in medium sized urban areas, appear well matched. As Figures 3 3 and 3 4 illustrate, the chosen design firms offe red a similar scope of services, including but not limited to corporate, hospitality, residential, retail, education, healthcare, education, government, mixed use design, cultural, and transit design. One firm appeared to be more generalized in nature. All of the firms have received awards and honors in the architecture and design fields. The participating Thai Design Worldwide Partnership (DWP) have been widely known as le ading design firms, always receiving awards and recognitions in local and worldwide design publications e firms by BCI Asia a prominent Southeast Asian 2010). SODA, Space Matrix, and TID have continually presented cutting edge and innovative designs to the field. Of the eight U.S. firms involved in the study, f ive firms: Gensler; Perkins+Will; HOK; TVSdesign; and Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates (SRSSA), have been recognized by Interior Design a leading national design magazine, as the top 100 interior design giants of 2009 (Davidsen, 2010). The other three firms: ai 3, Idea | Span, and Jova/Daniels/Busby, have garnered design awards and have had projects featured in national and/or regional trade publications.
84 After compiling a list of firms that met all the criteria, the researcher chose desig ner participants from each firm based on their position and responsibilities. Since this dissertation research involved the portfolio evaluation, the participants should have experience in reviewing portfolios of entry level design applicants. To garner a sample of more seasoned designers, experienced in the portfolio review, a participation request letter was sent to the senior level designers at each firm. The letter described the study, its purposes, and the amount of time anticipated for participation ( Appendix A). The researcher also made a follow up telephone call and sent an email to the designers a week later asking for participation. Of the 35 Thai designers solicited over a period of seven weeks, 24 designers agreed to take part in the research. Ho wever, four designers had conflicts with their scheduled time blocks. Attempts to reschedule with these designers were made, but eventually they could not participate in the study. Of the 23 U.S. design practitioners solicited over a period of three weeks, 17 practitioners agreed to participate in the study. experience in reviewing portfolios was eliminated from this sample. As a result, the sample of Thai participants compr ised 20 designers, and the sample of U.S. participants consisted of 16 designers. Of the 58 designers solicited, 36 designers participated in the present study. This was a 62% response rate (57% for Thai practitioners and 70% for U.S. practitioners), which is considered high for field based research (Gall et al., 2007). In the Thai participant sample, 40% of the participants (n = 8) were female, and the other 60% (n = 12) were male. Table 3 undergraduate background, inclu ding a Bachelor of Design with Major in Interior Design
85 (n = 1), a Bachelor of Science with Major in Interior Design (n = 2), a Bachelor of Industrial Design with Major in Interior Design (n = 3), a Bachelor of Architecture with Major in Interior Architect ure (n = 2), a Bachelor of Architecture with Minor in Interior Design (n = 1), a Bachelor of Architecture (n = 3), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (n = 8). Design, Interior Architecture, Architecture, Architectural Administration and Management, or Science in Construction Management. In the U.S. participant sample, 37.5% of the participants (n = 6) were women, and the other 62.5% (n = 10) were men. As shown in Table 3 3, the undergraduate background consisted of a Bachelor of Science with Major in Interior Design (n = 2), a Bachelor of Design with Major in Interior Design (n = 2), a Bachelor of Architecture with Minor in Interior Design (n = 1), a Bachelor o f Architecture (n = 5), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (n = 6). Three practitioners who had a Bachelor of Architecture The researcher classified all of the participants (n = 3 6) into four groups based on their job position (Coleman, 2002). Table 3 4 presents the number of the Thai and U.S. participants in the four groups: Principal includes executive partner and principals (n = 8); Design Director includes design director, mana ging directors, vice presidents, and associates (n = 22); Senior Designer (n = 4); and Designer (n = 2). As a whole sample, the participants had been practicing interior design or architecture for an average of 19.17 years and had reviewed portfolios for a n average of 8.94 years. The mean number of portfolios the participants reviewed per year was 12.49 portfolios (Table 3 4). Additionally, Independent Samples t tests indicated that, on average, U.S. participating
86 designers had significantly higher experien ce in practicing design ( t = 2.285, p = .033) and in reviewing portfolios ( t = 2.866, p = .009) than their Thai counterparts. Assessment Method (1982, 1996) Consensual Assessmen t Technique (CAT), which is one of the most highly recognized creativity measurements. Based on the notion that the consensus of experts in a given domain results in the best creativity measure, the CAT basically reflects real world evaluations of creative works (Kaufman et al., 2007). Administration of the CAT is simple and straightforward; however, at the same time, it adheres to some requirements as Hennessey and Amabile (1988) describe: Subjects are asked to complete some task in a specific domain (such as poetry), and then experts in that domain (such as poets) independently rate the creativity of the products. The level of interjudge agreement is assessed, and if it is acceptable (generally above .70), the mean across judge creativity ratings are used as our dependent measures of creativity. (p. 15) The CAT appears widely employed and well validated in creativity studies across disciplines. For example, in social psychology, Amabile (1996) and her colleagues validated the CAT in evaluations of creative artworks, such as collages, and creative writings, such as Haiku poems, created by lay children and adults. In art education, Auh and Johnston (2001) also confirmed validity of the CAT in assessing creative musical compositions and invented stories by kind ergarteners. Moreover, in interior design, creative trait profile from the Adjective Check L ist. Although the CAT seems versatile across fields, its limitations still exist. As Amabile (1982) initially indicates, historical time
87 and place may restrict the reliability and validity of judgments obtained by the CAT. The technique may be unsuitable t o use in evaluating highly valued products in a specific domain. Besides, selecting an appropriate product and recruiting the right panel of judges can make this method time consuming and expensive. Focusing on the appropriate product, the CAT validation h as been limited to assessing only products under experimental conditions with specific requirements. Challenging the boundaries of this perceived limitation, Baer, Kaufman, and Gentile (2004) conducted a study to explore if they can expansively use the CAT in assessing a more diverse sample of artifacts gathered for non specific requirements. Rated products collected for another study. The results proved that the CAT could be used in evaluating creativity in general products, not only those created for a specific study; this allows researchers to gain benefits from already collected creative works. Based on this verification, the present research can certainly use the CAT to a ssess the portfolios as creative products in the context of interior design. In addition to the product, the judge selection plays a vital part in using the CAT. the e recruiting such expert judges often poses a logistical challenge. Many studies using evaluators with expertise have had a small number of judges. For instance, Runco, McC art works. Kaufman, Baer, et al. (2008) recruited ten experts and 106 novices to rate creativity in poems. Additionally, Horng and Lin (2009) asked nine culinary experts to
88 assess creative culinary products. To increase the number of judges in a study, some researchers have replaced expert judges with non experts (e.g., Chen et al., 2002; Chen et al., 2005; Joussemet & Koestner, 1999; Niu & Sternberg, 2001). Employing novice judges may be convenient, but it seems to violate the premise of the CAT the comparable to judgments of experts (e.g., Christiaans, 2002; Dollinger & Shafran, 2005; Runco et judgments (e.g., Casakin & Kreitler, 2008; Hekkert & van Wieringen, 1996). As researchers need to b e sure that the judges have the right kinds of expertise, which Regarding this suggestion, the present dissertation study employs the CAT with senior level design practitioners as a panel of expert ju dges in the field of interior design. These designer judges have expertise and experience in assessing portfolios in the actual hiring process. The strengths of the CAT and the judge selection in mirroring the real world evaluation of creative design works can assure validity of this study for measuring creativity in reality. Instruments Portfolio Assessment Instrument In the portfolio evaluation procedure, the current research employed a locally designed portfolio assessment instrument. The researcher deve loped the instrument to quantify scores on rated dimensions and to allow for statistical analysis. An evaluation form contained six criteria: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, aesthetic appeal, overall creativity, and hiring potential. The researc her arranged these aspects in three
89 random orders and utilized a 7 point Likert scale, from 1 ( poor ) to 7 ( excellent ), as a scale to assess each portfolio based on the assessment criteria (Appendix B). By reviewing relevant studies on the judgment of creat ive products in art and design disciplines, the researcher found that concepts of novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal often appear in relation to the creative products (Figure 3 5). Examining evaluations of entry level interior design portfolios, Levins (CPAM) containing 13 dimensions based on three main creative attributes: novelty the newness of a product resolution the appropriate and functio nal values of a product and style the development and stylistic aspects of a product Aspects of creativity and hiring potential were also added to fully examine the quality of portfolios. Importantly, in terms of the focus on assessments of creative design portfolios. However, the methodology was adapted to suit purposes of this study better. While Levins recruited U.S. designers, this study employs Thai and U.S. practitioners to explore cultural varia rated dimensions, the current research utilizes fewer criteria, which appear more relevant to the field of interior design, based on the literature review and pilot study findings. Moreover, compared to Levi oriented study, this research more emphasizes the qualitative part to gain more comprehensive data. (1983) evaluation criteria. She recruited interior design practitioners and educators to rate interior design projects on creativity, technical skills, and aesthetic aspects. Similarly, Dorst and Cross (2001) specified creative attributes in
90 industrial de sign products by asking expert judges to evaluate a sample of industrial design works on five dimensions: ergonomics, technical aspects, aesthetics, business aspects, and creativity. Christiaans (2002) explored the reliability of design product evaluations by comparing three groups of judges: experts, novices, and non experts. Each judge assessed a sample of design works on creativity, technical quality, attractiveness, expressiveness, interest, integrating capacity, and goodness of example. Additionally, t here have been cross cultural creativity studies focusing on the judgment of artistic products. Averill et al. (2001) investigated emotion, creativity, and the interaction between the two aspects across Eastern and Western cultures. The researchers also pr oposed dimensions, namely effectiveness, novelty, and authenticity, for assessing artistic creativity. Niu and Sternberg (2001) explored American and Chinese cultural influences on assessments of creative drawings. Raters assessed a sample of drawings on c reativity, likeability, appropriateness, and technical quality. Chen et al. (2002) also scrutinized American and Chinese cultural impacts on evaluations of artistic creativity. The researchers asked judges to evaluate drawings on creativity, uniqueness, te chnical quality, and liking of artistic works. While the above studies used different criteria for assessing creativity in art and design products, some of those criteria shared the same meaning. Novelty, authenticity, and uniqueness signified the novelty value of the creative product. Appropriateness, resolution, and effectiveness reflect the aspect of appropriateness. Technical skills and technical quality refer to the technical merit of the creative product. Aesthetic aspects, style, likeability, and lik ing relate to the aesthetic merit. Hence, in addition to overall
91 creativity, we can see that novelty, appropriateness, and technical and aesthetic merits take part as creative attributes in art and design products. Creativity scholars always involve novelt y and appropriateness in the definition of creativity; however, no one has clearly explained how these two aspects are important to creativity and how they are related to each other (Averill et al., 2001; Kaufman, Plucker, et al., 2008; Paletz, 2003; Runco & Charles, 1993). Therefore, this dissertation research employed novelty and appropriateness to gain insight into their relationships to overall creativity and to each other. Researchers also recognize technical merit and aesthetic appeal as primary chara cteristics of creative products, particularly in art and design areas (Amabile, 1996; Barnard, 1992; Christiaans, 2002; Niu & Sternberg, 2001). According to Amabile (1996), when using the CAT, judges should not assess only overall creativity in products; o ther dimensions related to creativeness should also be evaluated. As we see in the above studies, in evaluations of art or design works, technical and aesthetic merits of the work have been regularly assessed. Since design portfolios involve technical and aesthetic aspects, this study also included the two dimensions to examine their relationships to the overall creativity. In addition to the creativity dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, this study also added overal l creativity and hiring potential, which represents a possibility that a student would have an interview for employment, in the assessment criteria to connect the accomplishment of a portfolio to its primary purpose. Since a designer creates an entry level interior design portfolio for gaining professional employment, having hiring potential in the assessment criteria assists this study in examining the value that designers consider in portfolios.
92 Semi Structured Interview with Judges This study utilized a semi structured interview to capture qualitative information. At the end of the portfolio evaluation procedure, the researcher interviewed each designer judge individually. A list of open ended questions was designed to gain insight into the perspective on key criteria in reviewing portfolios and creativity in interior design (Appendix C). The interview was tape recorded with permission and transcribed into a written narrative form for the coding and content analysis. Questionnaire for Judges After the portfolio evaluation procedure, the researcher asked practitioner judges to complete a short questionnaire on their professional experience (Appendix D). The experi ence in practicing in the architecture or interior design field as well as experience in reviewing design portfolios. Study Procedure The one hour data collecting session occurred in a conference room at designer re comprised three stages. First, designers watched a brief slide show of the 12 portfolios in order to get an overview of the portfolios as a group. Second, the designers viewed a full slide show and independently evaluated each portfolio using the assess ment form. Finally, the practitioners elaborated on the evaluation and creativity in design according to the interview questions. Data was collected at 17 firms with 10 firms testing multiple participants. At five of the 10 firms, due to conflicts in desig administered, involving 2 to 5 practitioners at a time; however, each practitioner participated in the interview individually.
93 Upon initiating the study procedure, the researcher gave designers a n assessment package a pen, the informed consent statement with a copy for themselves, the evaluation instruction and 12 assessment forms, the questionnaire for judges, and a list of interview questions. Before starting the procedure, the researcher info rmed every practitioner of the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB) rights regarding participation in a research study. The researcher verbally notified the practitioner as follows: the study did not anticipate any physical or mental risk s or benefits, their identities were to keep confidential, their participation was fully voluntary, and he/she could withdraw from the study at any time without penalty. Also, the designer was asked to carefully read and sign the university approved inform ed consent, which was approved by the IRB of the University of Florida (Appendix E). Portfolio Overview A four minute slide show offered designer judges a glimpse into the overall quality of the portfolios before they evaluated each one independently. This was necessary for subjective criteria in assessing a particular dimension, Amabile (1996) suggests that judges should evaluate all tasks on one dimension prior to rating al l tasks on any other aspects. However, this suggestion seemed unpractical in the present study. The participants would have had to view all the portfolios six times for assessing the six hemselves with the screen lap top computer. The slide show illustrated eight images from each port folio. Each slide was timed to play to the next slide after two seconds. As a visual separation, the
94 researcher inserted a black slide with a portfolio number in front of each portfolio. There were three sets of the overview slide show matching three rando mized sets of the assessment slide presentation. Portfolio Assessment After briefly viewing the portfolios, the designers independently assessed each portfolio based on the criteria: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, aesthetic appeal, overall crea tivity, and hiring potential. The researcher formatted the portfolios into a single presentation containing 184 portfolio slides. Three randomized sets of the slide show were developed to eliminate factors related to the sequential order and potential view ing fatigue that would confound the results. These sets of the slide show were randomly assigned to the designer judges; thus it was possible that designers in the same firm could view the portfolios in the same order. The researcher set up each portfolio slide to advance to the next slide after 10 seconds to control the amount of time the participants spent on the assessment. By timing the slide show, the designers could view each portfolio only once. Most of the participants agreed that the controlled amo unt of time was proper to review details on each slide. A few designers complained that the slides were advanced too quickly or too slowly, and they would prefer to control the slide show by themselves. Following each portfolio, a slide instructing the des igners to evaluate the previously viewed portfolio was added; this slide was timed to last fifteen seconds. It is important to note that the majority of the participants could assess each portfolio within the time constraint, while a few took longer in gau ging the first two or three portfolios. However, after getting used to the dimensions, these practitioners could catch up in evaluating the other portfolios. The designer judges spent approximately 35 minutes completing the assessment.
95 Semi Structured Inte rview For the final phase of the study procedure, the researcher created twelve boards the portfolio assessment the designer participants could view each portfolio only o nce, they might recognize only few details in the portfolios. This hard copy version of the portfolios acted as a ready reference for the practitioners to recall their assessment. Once each judge completed the portfolio assessment, a semi structured interv iew initiated. One of the 36 judges who finished the portfolio assessment could not attend the interview due to an urgent meeting. By gaining permission from the 35 designers, the interviews were tape recorded to document their verbal responses. The resear cher asked the practitioners to review a list of questions before starting the interview. Since the interview was semi structured, the questions were not asked exactly in the same order. It is important to note that interviews were not fully completed. Due to a conflict in their schedules, eight designers needed to withdraw before responding to all questions. Immediately after finishing the interview, the designers filled out the questionnaire. One U.S. and two Thai practitioners asked the researcher to ema il them the questionnaire, and they replied their information to the researcher later. Summary The present dissertation study employed a mixed methods approach, combining quantitative and qualitative methods, to gather data on the assessment, attributes, a nd definition of creativity in interior design across Thai and U.S. perspectives. Twenty Thai and 16 U.S. senior level designers with valuable experience practicing and reviewing design portfolios evaluated 12 digital entry level interior design portfolios collected from Thammasat University, Thailand. The assessment criteria comprised novelty,
96 appropriateness, technical merit, aesthetic appeal, overall creativity, and hiring potential. The one hour study procedure was divided into three phases. First, desi gners watched a brief slide show of the portfolios. Next, the designers individually assessed each portfolio on the six criteria. Finally, the designers responded to the interview open ended questions. At the end of the procedure, practitioners completed a questionnaire asking about their demographic information.
97 Table 3 1. Creativity ranking of portfolios Creativity levels Pilot judges (n = 6) Thai practitioners (n = 20) U.S. practitioners (n = 16) Portfolio # Average Portfolio # Average Portfolio # Average High creative 2 6.50 2 5.40 2 5.44 6 6.00 11 5.15 7 5.38 10 6.00 7 4.95 11 5.31 11 6.00 6 4.90 1 5.13 Medium creative 3 4.50 10 4.50 5 5.00 7 4.50 3 4.40 6 5.00 8 4.50 5 4.20 10 4.94 9 4.50 8 4.00 3 4.75 Low creative 1 3.00 9 4.00 8 4.56 12 3.00 12 3.95 12 4.44 5 2.00 1 3.80 4 4.38 4 1.50 4 3.55 9 4.38 Table 3 2. Participating firms Thai firms Participating practitioners (n=20) U.S. firms Participating practitioners (n=16) DWP 1 Gensler 1 IA49 1 Jova/Daniels/Busby 1 SODA 1 Perkins+Will 1 Space Matrix 1 HOK 2 TID 2 TVSdesign 2 P49 Deesign 3 ai3 3 PIA 3 Idea|Span 3 Steven J. Leach Jr. 3 SRSSA 3 Design103 5 Table 3 3. Participant undergraduate background Academic background Thai practitioners (n=20) U.S. practitioners (n=16) Bachelor of Science or Design with Major in Interior Design 3 4 Bachelor of Industrial Design with Major in Interior Design 3 0 Bachelor of Architecture 6 6 Bachelor of Fine Arts 8 6
98 Table 3 4. Participant positions Position titles Thai practitioners (n=20) U.S. practitioners (n=16) Principal 1 7 Design director 15 7 Senior designer 4 0 Designer 0 2 Table 3 5. Participant design and portfolio review experience Participants Design experience Review experience Portfolio / yr M SD M SD M SD Thai practitioners (n=20) 15.80 5.75 5.90 4.41 11.50 10.20 U.S. practitioners (n=16) 23.38 12.22 12.75 8.71 13.75 11.60 Total (n=36) 19.17 9.83 8.94 7.41 12.50 10.74 Design Experience = Number of years the practitioner had practiced design Review Experience = Number of years the practitioner had reviewed design portfolios Portfolio / year = Number of design portfolios the practitioner reviewed per year
99 Figure 3 1. Methodology framework Figure 3 2. Scatterplot of overall creativity by judge
100 Figure 3 3. Design specialties of Thai firms Figure 3 4. Design specialties of U.S. firms
101 Figure 3 5. Dimensions employed in relevant studies
102 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Introduction single instrument or analytical procedure can capture the complex and multidimensional nature of creativity effectively and comprehensively. quantitative data. (Treffinger, 2002, p. 60 62) T reffinger, a leading researcher in creativity measurement, believes that it is not feasible to fully capture the intricate nature of creativity through any single method. However, traditional creativity research often emphasized quantitative, paper and pen cil Baer & Kaufman, 2006). These pioneering efforts have provided foundations for the following generation of scholars to build the body of knowledge on creativity. Ev en so, regarding diverse facets of creativeness, we cannot understand its inherent complexity merely quantitatively, but we should also examine this construct qualitatively. In recent years, researchers in behavior and social sciences have increasingly uti lized mixed methods research (Creswell, 2009). Since this approach allows scholars ts into a complex problem. Studies on creativity have also employed mixed methods to answer questions beyond statistical findings. Focusing on industrial design, Dorst and Cross (2001) explored creativity in the design process. Their study involved evaluat ions of design concepts for a litter bin created by nine designers and observations in the design process. Using a 10 point scale, expert judges rated the concepts on overall quality, ergonomics, technical aspects, aesthetics, business aspects, and creativ ity. The results
103 revealed that overall quality was most related to ergonomics ( r = .68), which signified appropriateness of industrial design products, while having the least relationship to creativity ( r = .32). However, after omitting one design concept as an outlier, the correlation between overall quality and creativity considerably increased ( r = .80). This suggested the importance of creativity in the overall quality of a design. Qualitative findings from the observation provided insight into creative attributes in relation to the design problem and to the concept of originality. In producing creative design concepts, the designers regarded the design task, the situation and the available resources, such as time, as well as their own ambitions. Interes tingly, when developing their concepts, the designers highly valued original ideas. They sought ideas that differed from the existing litter bin to overcome the other designers with originality. In summary, the researchers used the quantitative results to establish the overall quality of the creative design concept and inferred the qualitative findings to explain the design process and attributes of the creative concept. Hasirci and Demirkan (2007) explored the four aspects of creativity in design: the pers on, process, product, and press, with a focus on the decision making process. To collect data, the researchers employed observations, retrospective protocol analysis, p rocedure, and rating scales. Fifteen interior architecture students designed a lounge or restaurant in a train. While solving the design problem, the students were video taped for observations of their behaviors and design process. After completing the tas k, the students responded to open ended questions regarding stages of their design process, methods, techniques, and creativity definitions. The researchers and instructors rated
104 nciples, and spatial qualities. Despite the use of mixed methods in the data collection, the researchers analyzed the data using the quantitative approach. They coded and quantified data from the observation and protocol analysis prior to analyzing them wi th data from the rating scales. The researchers found that components of the process, such as the selection of design concepts, appeared mostly related to creativity, followed by characteristics of the person and product, respectively. Based on the above s tudies, we can see that scholars have utilized mixed methods in different ways converging, integrating, or connecting quantitative and qualitative data. In any way, the primary purpose of the mixed methodology is to provide an insight into a complex prob lem by using the strengths of both quantitative and qualitative research. The present dissertation study employed the mixed methods strategy to examine what Thai and U.S. design practitioners considered creative in entry level interior design portfolios. T his research also sought to explore cultural variations and/or similarities in creativity assessments and definitions between the two groups of designers. To fully understand creativity across the cultures, the researcher utilized survey and interview rese arch methods to collect data. The survey in the portfolio assessment gathered quantitative data that accounted for about three quarters of the overall data, while the remaining quarter contained qualitative data collected from the interview. To thoroughly report the study findings, this chapter starts by summarizing the demographics and design experience of the designers who judged the portfolios. The next section presents results based on the research questions organized into three parts. Fir st, in addressing the first three research questions, analyses of the combined
105 sample examine statistical relationships among overall creativity, hiring potential, and the creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal Second, according to next series of the research questions, comparative analyses quantitatively investigate differences and/or similarities between the Thai and q uestions, comparative analyses qualitatively explore cultural variations and/or similarities in creativity attributes and definitions. Demographics and Design Experience of Participating Practitioners The data collecting procedure concluded with a question gender, academic background, job position, specialization of design work, design experience, number of years reviewing portfolios, and number of portfolios reviewed per year. The sample of participants comprised 20 Thai and 16 U.S. ex perienced designers from nine firms in Bangkok and eight firms in Atlanta, respectively. All participating firms were well recognized and had received national and/or international awards in the architecture and design areas. All of the nine Thai firms had design specializations (Figure 3 3 ). Thai designer and the average of their specialties was 3.78 types. Seven out of eight U.S. participating firms had design speciali zations; only one firm did not identify a specific specialization (Figure 3 4 types of design work, and the average of their specialties was 6.29 types. We should note that t here is a difference in design sectors between firms in the two countries. U.S. design firms typically have a more variety of design sectors than Thai firms that mostly practice four sectors: corporate, hospitality, residential, and retail. The corporate s ection
106 usually includes healthcare, education, government, and other projects that are less common in the Thai developing market. Focusing on design expertise of the participant sample, Figure 4 1 presents that Thai and U.S. designer participants engaged i n corporate, hospitality, residential, retail, healthcare, education, government, mixed use design, and generalist design. Thai practitioners had 1 to 4 specializations with the majority citing one or two specialties. Seventy five percent of the Thai sampl e (n = 15) practiced corporate design, followed by 60% of the sample (n = 12) having a hospitality specialty; whereas only 5% (n = 1) were involved in healthcare. Thirty percent of the Thai sample (n = 6) identified a residential specialty. U.S. designers had expertise in 1 to 4 types of design work, but the majority reported only one specialty. Seventy five percent of the U.S. sample (n = 12) worked in the corporate sector, while 6.25% of the sample (n = 1) engaged in retail, healthcare, government, or mix ed use design. None of the U.S. sample practiced residential design. In the Thai sample, 40% of the participants (n = 8) were female, and the other 60% (n = 12) were male. In the U.S. sample, 37.5% of the participants (n = 6) were women, and the other 62.5 % (n = 10) were men. The sample represents nearly a 2:3 ratio of women to men. According to the four categories of job positions: Principal, Design Director, Senior Designer, and Designer (Coleman, 2002), the distribution of job positions indicates that 75 % of the Thai designers were Design Directors (n = 15), and 88% of the U.S. participants were Principals (n = 7) or Design Directors (n = 7). employment variables: practice ex perience, portfolio review experience, and number of portfolios reviewed each year. As Table 4 1 illustrates, the employment variables of the
107 Thai sample did not correspond with the job positions. The only Principal who had the most experience in reviewing portfolios (10 years) and the greatest number of portfolios reviewed a year (15 portfolios) had slightly lower professional experience (15 years) than the 15 Design Directors (16.60 years). The Design Directors, as a whole, reviewed fewer portfolios per y ear (10.27 portfolios) than the two Senior Designers (15.25 portfolios), who had less average experience in practicing (13 years) and assessing portfolios (2.25 years). In contrast to the Thai sample, Table 4 2 shows the employment variables of the U.S. sa mple which correlated to the job positions. The seven Principals had the highest average design experience (30.29 years), portfolio review experience (16.71 years), and number of reviewed portfolios per year (20 portfolios). The seven Design Directors had the second highest average experience in practicing (21.43 years) and reviewing portfolios (11.29 years), and number of portfolios assessed a year (9.79 portfolios). The two Designers had less average practice experience (6 years), portfolio review experie nce (4 years), and number of portfolios reviewed a year (5.75 portfolios). Data Analysis The present study explored discipline specific creativity across cultures through n the portfolio assessment instrument, with no missing responses, resulted in a total of 432 data points. With assistance of two statistical consultants, the researcher used the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences program (SPSS version 16.0) for an alyzing. Table 4 3 shows the means and standard deviations of the assessment criteria. The mean scores of the aspects on a 7 point scale ranged from 4.17 to 5.09, which implied that the designer groups recognized a good overall quality of the portfolios.
108 P rior to analyzing any data collected by using the Consensual Assessment Technique, an inter judge reliability assessment is necessary to verify if the subjective judgments obtained are reliable. To indicate the inter rater reliability, Amabile (1996) recom the most common measure which indicates the reliability of a variable in producing consistent responses (Field, 2005). A high alpha value signifies a high level of consensus among evaluators; an acceptable val ue should exceed .70. Table 4 4 shows that 16 out of 18 reliabilities among Thai, U.S., and combined designers appeared acceptably high. Only the coefficients of appropriateness (.66) and aesthetic appeal (.67) rated by U.S. practitioners were slightly les s than the acceptable level. This was not unexpected. Previous studies on judgments of creative products found these two attributes showing greater variation than other criteria (e.g., Casakin & Kreitler, 2008; Runco & Charles, 1993) Additionally, studies in social sciences tend to accept slightly low reliabilities because they seek experimental findings rather than rigidly accurate results. Hence, as being an exploratory study in nature, the current research used the data points of all six criteria in fur ther analyses. Quantitative Analysis of Total Sample of Practitioners Question 1: Do experienced design practitioners perceive overall creativity in entry level interior design portfolios as predicting hiring potential? The first research question sought t o examine whether overall creativity expressed in portfolios related to perceived hiring potential. Based on the review of creativity studies in design fields, this research assumed that an association existed between overall creativity and hiring potentia l. To test the relationship, the researcher employed a correlation analysis a measure of the linear correlation between two variables. As an
109 r coefficient indicates the strength and direction of the associat ion. The closer the coefficient is to 1.0, the stronger the correlation between two variables (Field, 2005). For this research question, a correlation coefficient determines the association between ratings on overall creativity and hiring potential. The an alysis found a positive and significant correlation between the two variables ( r = .84, p = .000). Importantly, Field (2005) claims that we cannot use a significant relationship to conclude that one variable causes the other one to change; however, we can analyze the correlation coefficient further by squaring it to understand the variance between two variables. In this case, the coefficient squared ( r ) between overall creativity and hiring potential was .71, which suggested that overall creativity account ed for 71% of the variability in hiring potential. In addressing the first question, the results indicated that designers closely associated overall creativity in design portfolios as a strong predictor of hiring potential. Question 2: What is the relative importance of the creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, in predicting overall creativity in portfolios? The second question examined the four creative dimensions in relation to overall creativity of design p ortfolios. The researcher primarily employed correlation analyses to determine relationships between these dimensions and overall creativity. If the correlations appeared significant, they would be further examined using a regression analysis to explain th e relative importance of novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal to overall creativity. Table 4 5 presents correlation coefficients of the creative dimensions, showing positive and significant relationships to overall creativity. No velty had the strongest association with overall creativity ( r = .85). While being lower than the other criteria,
110 technical merit also showed a significant correlation to overall creativity ( r = .71). Then, the r values were squared to examine the variance between each dimension and overall creativity. With the strongest correlation, novelty accounted for 72% of the variability in overall creativity, followed by appropriateness explaining 67% of the variation in overall creativity. Aesthetic appeal and tech nical merit could explain 58% and 50% of the variance in overall creativity, respectively. In the regression analysis, the contribution of each creative attribute was indicated as the influence of all the other attributes was held constant. Table 4 6 demon strates the influence of novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal on overall creativity. The purpose of this table is to illustrate the variance of overall creativity and to indicate which variables had the strongest contribution. Al so, the regression analysis specified the R value, which is the coefficient squared for multiple regression, of .79. This suggested that the set of the four variables could account for 79% of the variation in overall creativity. Furthermore, all of the cr eative dimensions appeared significant with a t value greater than 1.96 ( p < .05). Moreover, the standardized coefficient or beta value for each significant variable was examined to further assess its individual influence. Beta values represent the linear degree of contributions by the predictor variables and also show how many standard deviation units of the outcome variable will be affected by an increase of one standard deviation unit in the predictor variable. In this case, novelty had the highest beta value (.43), followed by appropriateness (.29) and aesthetic appeal (.15). Technical merit had the lowest beta value (.10). These values indicated that novelty had four times more impact on overall creativity than technical merit. As the values of novelty and technical
111 merit increased by one standard deviation, the value of overall creativity increased by .43 and .10 standard deviations, respectively. In addition, using stepwise analysis, the regression equation is recalculated by adding one predictor varia ble at a time in order to indicate whether any redundant predictors may be removed (Field, 2005). As Table 4 7 illustrates, novelty was the first variable added into the equation because it had the strongest relationship to overall creativity. Appropriaten ess was added second, followed by aesthetic appeal and technical merit. By looking at the R values, novelty could explain 72% of the variability in overall creativity. When appropriateness was included, the two variables accounted for 77% of the variance in overall creativity However, when adding either aesthetic appeal or technical merit into the equation, the R value increased only slightly. These results implied that novelty and appropriateness appeared most important in explaining the variability in overall creativity, while aesthetic appeal and technical merit had less but still important impact on overall creativity. Answering the second question, the results showed that all of the four creative dimensions appeared significantly correlated to and in fluenced overall creativity. Novelty had the strongest correlation to and the most influence on overall creativity, whereas technical merit had the weakest but still strong relationship to and the least impact on overall creativity. Additionally, the findi ngs from stepwise methods suggested that only novelty and appropriateness could effectively explain the variation in overall creativity. Question 3: What is the relative importance of the creative dimensions in folios in terms of perceived hiring potential? This research question examined the creative dimensions in design portfolios with regard to perceived hiring potential. Based on correlation analyses, Table 4 8 presents
112 coefficients of novelty, appropriatenes s, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal. The relationships of the dimensions appeared positive and significantly associate with hiring potential, but showed different strengths. The strongest relationship emerged between hiring potential and novelty ( r = .84), followed by appropriateness ( r = .81) and aesthetic appeal ( r = .78). Technical merit had the weakest but still strong correlation to hiring potential ( r = .72). The r values indicated that novelty accounted for 71% of the variability in hiring pote ntial. Appropriateness and aesthetic appeal could explain 66% and 61% of the variation in hiring potential, respectively. And, technical merit accounted for 52% of the variability in hiring potential. The researcher further examined the relationships using multiple regression to explain the relative influence of novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal on hiring potential. Table 4 9 shows the contribution of the creative attributes to hiring potential. The R value of .79 specified th at this set of the variables could explain 79% of the variance in hiring potential. All of the four dimensions presented significant values with t values greater than 1.96 ( p < .05). The beta values explained that novelty (.40) had 1.5 times more influence on hiring potential than appropriateness (.26), with aesthetic appeal (.22) closely following. Technical merit (.10) had the least impact on hiring potential. As the values of novelty and technical merit increased by one standard deviation unit, the value of hiring potential increased by .40 and .10 standard deviations, respectively. Table 4 10 illustrates the R values calculated with stepwise methods Due to its strongest relationship to hiring potential, novelty was the first variable added in the regre ssion equation. Appropriateness was added second, followed by aesthetic appeal
113 and technical merit. By focusing on the R values, novelty could explain 71% of the variation in hiring potential. In adding appropriateness, the two variables accounted for 76% of the variability in hiring potential However, when aesthetic appeal and technical merit were inserted into the equation, there was only slight improvement of the R values. This implied that novelty and appropriateness could effectively explain the variance in hiring potential with minor influence of aesthetic appeal and technical merit. To address the third question, the findings confirmed that the creative dimensions were significantly associated with and had significant influence on hiring potenti al. Novelty had the strongest association with and the highest impact on hiring potential, whereas technical merit had the weakest but still strong correlation to and the least impact on hiring potential. Additionally, only novelty and appropriateness seem ed sufficient to explain the variability in hiring potential. The overall analysis of the results in this section provided an insight into the interactions among overall creativity, hiring potential, and the creative dimensions. As Figure 4 2 illustrates, overall creativity had a statistically significant relationshi p to hiring potential; moreover, the creative attributes significantly influenced both overall creativity and hiring potential. In the figure, the r values between overall creativity and hiring potential indicates a chance in which creativity accounted fo r the variance in hiring potential. Beta values present the degree of influence between the creative dimensions and overall creativity as well as between the dimensions to hiring potential.
114 Quantitative Comparative Analysis between Thai and U.S. Practition ers Question 4: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive the overall level of creativity in portfolios and hiring potential? The fourth question sought to examine how Thai and U.S. designers perceived creativity in design portfolios and potential to hi re students who created the portfolios. To address this question, the researcher examined average scores of the 12 portfolios and inter judge reliabilities of overall creativity and hiring potential. Then, the researcher used correlation analyses to test r elationships between evaluations of the groups and utilized Independent Samples t tests to determine variations in the assessments. Table 4 11 presents rankings of the portfolios with their means and standard deviations of ratings on overall creativity and hiring potential. Focusing on overall creativity, the portfolios received average scores ranging from 3.55 to 5.44, indicating medium to relatively high levels of creativity. Both groups of designers agreed that portfolios 02, 07, and 11 were the most cr eative, whereas portfolios 04, 09, and 12 were the least creative in this sample (Appendix F). Both groups similarly perceived levels of creativity in this set of portfolios, except portfolio 01, which U.S. practitioners viewed it as more creative than Tha i designers did. As Table 4 4 presents, the inter rater reliability of .84 confirmed that Thai and U.S. designers had high consensus in their perceptions of overall creativity in portfolios. In looking at hiring potential, the portfolios showed means rangi ng from 3.30 to 5.31 and were ranked correspondingly to the ranking of their creativity levels, with portfolios 02, 07, and 11 on top of the list and portfolios 04 and 09 at the bottom. Again, portfolio 01 was the only portfolio which U.S. designers rated it much higher than Thai practitioners. In general, the coefficient of .88 suggested that Thai and U.S. designers agreed on their perceived hiring potential.
115 using simple sc atterplots and correlation analyses. Using the scatterplot, showing each U.S. designers, allowed us to explore the general trend of the data. Figures 4 3 and 4 4 present a positive relationship between evaluations of the groups on overall creativity and hiring potential, respectively. A correlation analysis confirmed a significant r = .80, p = .000). By squ aring the r n hiring potential ( r = .74, p = .006). The r In addition, an Independent Samples t test measured differences between Thai and U they seemed to share the same perception of overall creativity in the portfolios, Thai practitioners gave a significantly lower overall score on creativity to the sample of portfolios than their U.S. counterparts did ( t = 3.73, p = .000). Similarly, the findings from the t test on evaluations of hiring potential also indicated that Thai designers assigned a significantly lower average rating of hiring potential than U.S. prac titioners ( t = 4.25, p = .000). Answering the fourth question, the findings confirmed that designers from the cultures under study similarly perceived the overall level of creativity in the portfolios and hiring potential. However, Thai practitioners assig ned lower average scores to the portfolios than their U.S. counterparts did.
116 Question 5: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners evaluate the creative dimensions in portfolios? This research question explored whether Thai and U.S. designers assessed the creativ e dimensions differently. The researcher started by gauging inter rater reliabilities of novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, and then tested Indep endent Samples t tests to determine variations in ratings on the criteria assessed by the practitioner groups. Table 4 4 indicates that the inter judge reliabilities of the creative dimensions all appeared acceptable. This suggested that designers from the two cultures agreed on their assessments of the portfolios. Independent Samples t tests further compared the 12 shows the means and standard deviations of each criterion by culture. The t tests exposed that, compared to U.S. designers, Thai professionals gave significantly lower average scores to the portfolios on all criteria: novelty ( t = 4.88, p = .000), appropriateness ( t = 5.33, p = .000), technical merit ( t = 5.81, p = .000), and ae sthetic appeal ( t = 2.38, p = .018). Addressing the fifth research question, we found that Thai and U.S. designers showed high consensus in their assessments on the creative dimensions. However, the t tests disclosed that, in general, Thai practitioners ra ted the creative dimensions significantly lower than their U.S. counterparts. Question 6: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive overall creativity in portfolios as predicting hiring potential? The sixth question explored whether Thai and U.S. designe rs perceived creativity expressed in design portfolios as an indicator of potential to hire their creators. To
117 assessments on overall creativity and hiring potential usin g correlation analyses. Afterward, the researcher compared results from the correlation analyses to investigate the differences and/or similarities between the two groups. si gnificantly high interaction between creativity and hiring potential ( r = .83, p = .000). The r value of .69 suggested that overall creativity could explain 69% of the variation in hiring potential perceived by Thai designers. Next, for U.S. practitioners correlation analysis also revealed a positive and significantly high relationship between creativity and hiring potential ( r = .85, p = .000). The r value showed that creativity accounted for 72% of the variability in hiring potential per ceived by U.S. designers. The results from the correlation analyses revealed highly significant associations between creativity and hiring potential perceived by both groups of designers. This corresponded with the result from the first question showing th at, regardless their cultural background, practitioners recognized creativity as a predictor of hiring potential. In this question, the findings also confirmed that both Thai and U.S. designers perceived overall creativity in portfolios as predicting hirin g potential. Question 7: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive the creative dimensions in portfolios as predicting hiring potential? This question complemented research question six by exploring whether the four creative dimensions impacted hiring po tential perceived by the Thai and U.S. designers differently. Similar to the previous question, the researcher analyzed assessments of the two groups separately using correlation analyses and then multiple regression to gauge the influence of the dimension s on hiring potential. Moreover, the researcher compared findings from the two cultural groups to indicate cultural variations.
118 positive and significant relationships between the four creative dimensions and hiring potential. Novelty correlated most strongly with hiring potential ( r = .83, p = .000). Appropriateness appeared almost identical as novelty ( r = .82, p = .000), with aesthetic appeal closely following ( r = .81, p = .00 0) and technical merit at the least ( r = .75, p = .000). The researcher further examined the relationships using multiple regression. Table 4 13 illustrates the influence of the creative attributes on hiring potential. The R value of .78 suggested that the set of the four dimensions accounted for 78% of the variability in hiring potential perceived by Thai designers. Novelty, appropriateness, and aesthetic appeal significantly influenced hiring potential, whereas only technical merit did not. The beta values also indicated that novelty (.35) had as much influence as appropriateness (.33) on hiring potential, followed by aesthetic appeal (.23). creative as pects had a positive and significant relationship to hiring potential. The strongest relationship appeared between novelty and hiring potential ( r = .85, p = .000), followed by appropriateness ( r = .79, p = .000) and aesthetic appeal ( r = .74, p = .000). T echnical merit had the weakest but still strong correlation with hiring potential ( r = .64, p = .000). Based on multiple regression, Table 4 14 shows the contribution of the four creative attributes to hiring potential. The R value of .80 indicated that t his set of the variables could explain 80% of the variance in hiring potential perceived by U.S. practitioners. Moreover, all of the four dimensions significantly influenced hiring potential. The beta values explained that novelty (.46) had the highest and twice as much influence on hiring potential as aesthetic appeal (.22), with appropriateness (.21)
119 closely following and technical merit (.10) at the least. Interestingly, appropriateness, with the second highest relationship to hiring potential, had sligh tly less impact than aesthetic appeal. The findings from the two groups showed similarities and differences across the appeared significantly correlated to hiring potentia l. The strengths of the relationships were also in the same order: novelty, appropriateness, aesthetic appeal, and technical merit, respectively. Some differences emerged between the groups in the regression hat novelty, appropriateness, and aesthetic appeal significantly influenced hiring potential, not technical merit. Also, novelty and appropriateness had almost identical contribution to hiring potential. On the that all of the four creative attributes significantly influenced hiring potential, with novelty having the noticeably larger influence than the other three dimensions. Figure 4 5 summarizes the comparative findings from the research questions on the relat ionship between overall creativity and hiring potential and on the contribution of the creative dimensions to hiring potential. The results showed that Thai and U.S. designers perceived in the same way that overall creativity in portfolios could predict hi ring potential. Nevertheless, the two groups considered the creative dimensions as indicators of hiring potential differently. Although both of their assessments indicated significant correlations between the four attributes and hiring potential, technical merit did not significantly impact hiring potential perceived by Thai designers. Further, while
120 Thai designers valued novelty and appropriateness almost equally in predicting hiring potential, U.S. practitioners seemed to place a greater emphasis on novel ty. Qualitative Comparative Analysis between Thai and U.S. Practitioners To supplement the statistical results, the researcher posed the following open creativity, especi ally related to portfolio reviews. Nineteen of the 20 Thai designers attended the interview session. One could not participate in the interview due to an urgent meeting. All of the 16 U.S. practitioners took part in the interview. The collected data showed that the amount of time that Thai designers took in the interview ranged from 8 to 25 minutes, while U.S. practitioners spent from 8 to 30 minutes. On average, U.S. practitioners ( M = 17.56, SD = 6.50) spent a few minutes longer in the interview than did Thai designers ( M = 14.74, SD = 4.33) and seemed to provide more detailed information than did their Thai counterparts. The average length of transcripts from the U.S. sample was about nine pages, whereas the average from the Thai sample was nearly seven p responses by transcribing, interpreting, coding, and classifying into main themes. Answers from the Thai designers were initially transcribed in Thai and then translated to English. All transcripts were carefull y reviewed by the researcher and a Thai U.S. graduate student who is fluent in both languages. Question 8: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners describe their primary criteria for assessing portfolios? The eighth research question compared the portfolio asse ssment criteria cited by Thai and U.S. designers. In the interview, the practitioners identified important criteria they considered when reviewing portfolios. The researcher coded and organized their
121 answers into groups in relation to overall creativity, t he creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, and other irrelevant factors. Figure 4 6 shows the frequency of assessment criteria employed by culture. In general, designers from both cultures hold very similar vie ws on the characteristics 3D models, and understand the set of drawi In looking at the results from the Thai sample, based on a total of 55 responses, 75% referred to creativity and its attributes, and the other 25% included other aspects, such as clarity, articulation, and composition of a portfolio. Excluding these factors, when assessing portfolios, Thai practitioners recognized creativity (23.64%) as much as aest hetic appeal (21.82%), followed by appropriateness (16.36%), technical merit (9.09%), and novelty (3.64%). For the results from the U.S. sample, based on a total of 46 answers, 72% related to creativity and the creative dimensions, while the other 28% spok e to other factors. Focusing on creativity and its attributes, U.S. designers looked for creativity first (28.26%), technical merit second (15.22%), followed by appropriateness (13.04%), aesthetic appeal (10.87%), and novelty (4.35%).
122 The qualitative findi ngs from the two cultural groups clearly showed the variations and similarities in their assessment criteria. When assessing portfolios, Thai designers considered both creativity and aesthetic appeal almost equally, but U.S. practitioners viewed creativity as the foremost aspect. Both groups regarded novelty less than the evaluations, the creative dimensions accounted for approximately 80% of the variance in hiring p otential. The results from this question might begin to explain the other 20% in the assessments with additional considerations. Interestingly, although the statistical results confirmed the high influence of novelty on hiring potential, designers from bot h groups discussed novelty as less important than the other creative dimensions. Question 9: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners view creativity in portfolios with respect to hiring potential? This research question examined the influence of creativity in portfolios on hiring potential perceived by Thai and U.S. designers. An interview question asked designers to describe criteria they considered in the hiring process. The researcher classified responses into groups: creativity, technical skills, aesthetic sense, communication skills, work capability, and personal characteristics. Both groups of designers referred to creativity, technical skills, and aesthetic sense as aspects of a portfolio. A design
123 In discussing considerations in making hiring decisions, 68. 42% of the Thai designers (n = 13) viewed that a creative portfolio definitely increased a chance for the applicant to be called for an interview and to be hired. All of the 16 U.S. practitioners unanimously agreed on the decisive role of a creative portfo lio in the hiring process. However, practitioners from both cultures noted that assessing only the portfolio was not sufficient for making a hiring decision; they needed to evaluate the person as well. In line with this note, Figure 4 7 presents that, base d on the total of 62 responses from Thai designers, 24.19% emphasized the portfolio aspects: creativity, technical skills and aesthetic sense, while 43.55% highlighted the personal characteristics. Moreover, Thai designers discussed the work capability and communication skills 17.74% and 14.52% of the time, respectively. Similarly, based on the total of 79 responses from U.S. practitioners, 31.65% cited the portfolio aspects, and 40.51% discussed the personal characteristics. U.S. practitioners also mention ed the work capability 18.99% of the time, and only 8.86% of their responses included communication skills. Since the majority of the answers from both groups stressed the personal characteristics, the researcher further analyzed these responses. Overall, 32 out of the 35 designers participating in the interview (91.43%) reported personality factors as their considerations when hiring a designer. (Two Thai and one U.S. practitioners did not refer to the personal characteristics as their criteria.) Each prof essional supplied specific personality aspects, ranging from one to four traits. Sixteen out of the 32 designers (50%) considered overall personality of a candidate in making their hiring decision. Eight designers (25%) specified attitude, and seven (21.88 %) discussed motivation. Further, five professionals (15.63%) recognized commitment, and four (12.50%) spoke
12 4 to practicality, confidence, or professionalism. While three designers (9.38%) thought an applicant should be well rounded, two (6.25%) looked for good appearance. Figure 4 8 illustrates the relative weighting of the personal characteristics identified by culture. or attitude. Similarly, nearly 67% of the U.S. profe ssionals (n = 10) focused on overall personality of an applicant in the hiring process. The comparison of the findings from the two groups suggested that Thai and U.S. practitioners generally considered creativity in a portfolio important in the hiring pro cess. Nonetheless, to finalize their decision, they needed to evaluate the person as well. The designers placed an emphasis on the communication skills more than U. S. designers. With the person in the hiring process, designers from both cultures mostly considered his/her personal characteristics, especially overall personality and attitude. Question 10: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners define design creativity in t heir own terms? design. The researcher asked practitioners from the two cultures to supply their own personal definition of creativity and organized their responses in relati on to the aspects of novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, aesthetic appeal, and other considerations, such as exploration, organization, and design recognition. Figure 4 appropriat eness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, while the other 16% referred to other aspects. The majority of the responses (40.54%) recognized creativity as novelty; 13).
125 Slightly less than novelty, 37.84% of the supplied definitions cited appropriateness; Judge TH necessary to s aesthetic aspects. Interestingly, technical merit was not included in the definitions at all. Figure 4 appropriaten ess, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, while the other 26% included other aspects. The majority of the definitions (34.21%) described creativity in terms of proble 05). Following novelty, 26.32% of the responses referenced appropriateness. Judge US architecture, [a creative idea] has to create, elicit, an emotion, negative or positive, while still technical merit and aesthetic appeal, respectively. The qualitative findings revealed that designers from both cultures defined creativity in design with respect to novelty and appropriateness rather than aesthetic appeal or technical merit. The results of the definitions also supported the quantitative findings. Creativity appeared significantly associated with hiring potential in evaluations of the two groups. All of the cr eative attributes significantly influenced hiring potential perceived by U.S. designers. Likewise, U.S. practitioners included all creative aspects when defining creativity. For Thai designers, technical merit neither significantly impacted their perceived hiring potential nor appeared in their definitions of creativity.
126 Summary This dissertation study employed mixed methods design in the data collection and analysis. In this chapter, the researcher reported the findings based on the research questions, whi ch were organized into three sections. First, the quantitative analysis of the combined sample indicated statistically significant relationships among overall creativity, hiring potential, and the creative attributes: novelty, appropriateness, technical me rit, and aesthetic appeal. These attributes also significantly influenced both overall creativity and hiring potential. Second, the quantitative comparative analysis showed that, in general, Thai and U.S. practitioners similarly perceived the overall level of creativity in portfolios and hiring potential. Moreover, their evaluations on overall creativity could be a strong predictor of their ratings on hiring potential. Although inter rater reliabilities of all assessment criteria suggested high consensus be tween the two groups, Independent Samples t tests exposed that Thai designers generally evaluated the sample of portfolios significantly lower than their U.S. counterparts on every dimension. Further, multiple regression assessments, all of the creative aspects significantly influenced hiring potential. However, for Thai designers, novelty, appropriateness, aesthetic appeal, but technical merit had significant impact on hiring potential. Finally, the qualitative comparati ve analysis supplemented the statistical results with insights into creativity assessment criteria and perceptions of designers from the cultures under study. Supporting the results on the impact of overall creativity and its attributes on hiring potential the majority of assessment criteria reported by both groups cited overall creativity, novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, while the other criteria involved discipline relevant considerations. Both groups of
127 designers mostly e mphasized overall creativity in portfolios, followed by aesthetic appeal for the Thai sample and technical merit for the U.S. sample. In the actual hiring process, in addition to the portfolio, both groups of designers stressed the importance of assessing the person to determine his/her work capability, communication skills, and personal characteristics. When defining their own definition of creativity, practitioners from both cultures cited novelty and appropriateness most. Additionally, U.S. designers dis cussed technical and aesthetic merits in their conceptions of creativity, whereas Thai professionals included only aesthetic merit. This finding implied that technical merit had the least influence, compared to the other creative dimensions, on Thai design assessments and perceptions of creativity.
128 Table 4 1. Position title by employment variables of Thai practitioners Position group n % Design experience (n=20) Review experience (n=20) Portfolio / yr (n=20) M SD Min. Max. M SD Min. Max. M SD Min. Max. Principal 1 5 15.00 0.00 15.00 15.00 10.00 0.00 10.00 10.00 15.00 0.00 15.00 15.00 Design director 15 75 16.60 5.96 8.00 26.00 6.60 4.55 2.00 17.00 10.27 6.93 3.00 25.00 Senior designer 4 20 13.00 5.42 5.00 17.00 2.25 0.96 1.00 3.00 15.25 20.11 3.00 45.00 Designer 0 0 Design experience = Number of years the practitioner had practiced design Review experience = Number of years the practitioner had reviewed design portfolios Portfolio / year = Number of design portfolios the practitioner reviewed per year Table 4 2. Position title by employment variables of U.S. practitioners Position group n % Design experience (n=16) Review experience (n=16) Portfolio / yr (n=16) M SD Min. Max. M SD Min. Max. M SD Min. Max. Principal 7 44 30.29 9.27 15.00 40.00 16.71 9.52 5.00 30.00 20.00 12.65 1.50 35.00 Design director 7 44 21.43 11.21 7.00 35.00 11.29 7.25 3.00 20.00 9.79 9.51 3.50 30.00 Senior designer 0 0 Designer 2 12 6.00 2.83 4.00 8.00 4.00 0.00 4.00 4.00 5.75 2.47 4.00 7.50 Design experience = Number of years the practitioner had practiced design Review experience = Number of years the practitioner had reviewed design portfolios Portfolio / year = Number of design portfolios the practitioner reviewed per year
129 Table 4 3. Descriptive statistics of assessment criteria Dimensions Thai practitioners (n=20) U.S. practitioners (n=16) Total sample (n=36) M SD M SD M SD Novelty 4.22 1.29 4.84 1.38 4.50 1.36 Appropriateness 4.23 1.15 4.84 1.23 4.50 1.22 Technical merit 4.43 1.25 5.09 1.11 4.72 1.23 Aesthetic appeal 4.36 1.28 4.67 1.43 4.50 1.35 Overall creativity 4.40 1.30 4.89 1.43 4.62 1.38 Hiring potential 4.17 1.52 4.79 1.49 4.45 1.54 Table 4 4. Inter judge reliabilities of assessment criteria Dimensions Thai practitioners (n=20) U.S. practitioners (n=16) Total sample (n=36) Novelty .871 .772 .846 Appropriateness .894 .658 .845 Technical merit .796 .729 .816 Aesthetic appeal .843 .667 .770 Overall creativity .878 .755 .839 Hiring potential .916 .796 .884 Table 4 5. Correlation matrix of creative dimensions related to overall creativity Variables Novelty Appropriateness Technical merit Aesthetic appeal Overall creativity Novelty --.805* .704* .749* .845* Appropriateness .805* --.711* .735* .818* Technical merit .704* .711* --.709* .714* Aesthetic appeal .749* .735* .709* --.755* Overall creativity .845* .818* .714* .755* --* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level ( p <.05) Table 4 6. Multiple regression analysis of overall creativity Predictor variables Slope (b) Std. error Beta t Sig. Novelty .434 .042 .429 10.235 .000* Appropriateness .331 .047 .293 7.074 .000* Technical merit .109 .040 .097 2.745 .006* Aesthetic appeal .153 .039 .150 3.970 .000* Significance at the 0.05 level ( p <.05) R = .886, R = .785
130 Table 4 7. Model summary from stepwise methods in multiple regression analysis Predictor variables R R Adjusted R Standard error Novelty .845 .715 .714 .738 Novelty, appropriateness .876 .768 .767 .666 Novelty, appropriateness, aesthetic appeal .884 .781 .779 .648 Novelty, appropriateness, aesthetic appeal, technical merit .886 .785 .783 .643 Table 4 8. Correlation matrix of creative dimensions related to hiring potential Variables Novelty Appropriateness Technical merit Aesthetic appeal Hiring potential Novelty --.805* .704* .749* .843* Appropriateness .805* --.711* .735* .814* Technical merit .704* .711* --.709* .719* Aesthetic appeal .749* .735* .709* --.779* Hiring potential .843* .814* .719* .779* --* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level ( p <.05) Table 4 9. Multiple regression analysis of hiring potential Predictor variables Slope (b) Std. error Beta t Sig. Novelty .453 .047 .401 9.722 .000* Appropriateness .333 .051 .264 6.469 .000* Technical merit .119 .044 .095 2.732 .007* Aesthetic appeal .247 .042 .217 5.825 .000* Significance at the 0.05 level ( p <.05) R = .889, R = .791 Table 4 10. Model summary from stepwise methods in multiple regression analysis Predictor variables R R Adjusted R Standard error Novelty .843 .711 .711 .827 Novelty, appropriateness .874 .763 .762 .750 Novelty, appropriateness, aesthetic appeal .887 .787 .786 .711 Novelty, appropriateness, aesthetic appeal, technical merit .889 .791 .789 .706
131 Table 4 11. Rankings of overall creativity and hiring potential by culture Creativity Hiring potential Thai practitioners U.S. practitioners Thai practitioners U.S. practitioners Portfolio # M SD Portfolio # M SD Portfolio # M SD Portfolio # M SD 02 5.40 0.94 02 5.44 1.46 02 5.30 1.13 07 5.31 1.66 11 5.15 1.04 07 5.38 1.45 07 4.75 1.25 02 5.13 1.54 07 4.95 1.00 11 5.31 1.08 11 4.75 1.33 01 5.06 1.57 06 4.90 1.52 01 5.13 1.41 06 4.65 1.42 11 5.06 1.12 10 4.50 1.28 05 5.00 1.71 10 4.40 1.54 10 4.88 1.15 03 4.40 1.10 06 5.00 1.71 03 4.20 1.06 06 4.81 1.60 05 4.20 1.36 10 4.94 0.93 05 3.80 1.61 08 4.75 1.44 08 4.00 1.34 03 4.75 1.61 12 3.80 1.44 03 4.69 1.62 09 4.00 1.08 08 4.56 1.59 01 3.70 1.72 05 4.63 1.82 12 3.95 1.05 12 4.44 1.31 08 3.70 1.78 12 4.50 1.41 01 3.80 1.32 04 4.38 1.45 09 3.70 1.53 04 4.38 1.59 04 3.55 1.19 09 4.38 1.15 04 3.30 1.34 09 4.31 1.35
132 Table 4 12. Means and standard deviations of creative dimensions by culture Variables Thai practitioners (n=20) U.S. practitioners (n=16) M SD M SD Novelty 4.22 1.29 4.84 1.38 Appropriateness 4.23 1.15 4.84 1.23 Technical merit 4.43 1.25 5.09 1.11 Aesthetic appeal 4.36 1.28 4.67 1.43 Table 4 evaluations Predictor variables Slope (b) Std. error Beta t Sig. Novelty .416 .071 .352 5.893 .000* Appropriateness .431 .078 .325 5.499 .000* Technical merit .049 .071 .040 .686 .493 Aesthetic appeal .274 .078 .230 3.528 .000* Significance at the 0.05 level ( p <.05) R = .881, R = .77 Table 4 evaluations Predictor variables Slope (b) Std. error Beta t Sig. Novelty .499 .062 .461 8.009 .000* Appropriateness .249 .069 .205 3.622 .000* Technical merit .166 .058 .123 2.830 .005* Aesthetic appeal .233 .051 .223 4.606 .000* Significance at the 0.05 level ( p <.05) R = .892, R = .796
133 Figure 4 1. Design specialties by culture Figure 4 2. Model describing overall creativity, hiring potential, and creative dimensions
134 Figure 4 3. Scatterplot of overall creativity by culture Figure 4 4. Scatterplot of hiring potential by culture
135 Figure 4 5. Model describing assessment criteria by culture Figure 4 6. Qualitative portfolio assessment criteria by culture
136 Figure 4 7. Qualitative hiring considerations by culture Figure 4 8. Personality trait s and characteristics by culture
137 Figure 4 Figure 4
138 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Introduction Creativity, like food, is real, exists in many different forms, and provides sustenance. It is time, then, to go out into the real world and start sampling from the nourishment provided by the master chefs producing feasts of delicacies all over the world. By continuing to restr ict ourselves to a bland Sternberg, 1988, p. 440) In The Nature of Creativity published over two decades ago, Tardif and Sternberg (1988) concluded that researchers have begun to di fferentiate facets of creativity. Since then, we have seen considerable progress in those efforts, including a consensus on the definition of creativity and the development of creativity measurements. However, Mayer (1999) identified critical issues that s till need clarifying, such as whether creativity is individual or social; whether it is domain general or domain specific; and whether it is quantitative or qualitative. Recently, considering the importance of globalization and innovation around the world, Rank, Pace, and Frese (2004) called for more attention to social factors of creativity, especially cross cultural studies. This appears consistent with the current state of creativity research, which requires additional studies in different cultures and d isciplines (Kaufman & Baer, 2005; Kaufman & Sternberg, 2006). Contributing to the discipline specific creativity research, this dissertation study employed a field based research strategy to explore cross cultural perceptions of creativity in interior desi gn. More specifically, the study compared Thai and U.S. senior level designers completing a paper and pencil assessment of digital portfolios created to secure entry level employment in design practice. Designer participants from both cultures evaluated 12 portfolios on hiring potential, overall creativity, and the creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, aesthetic appeal. After
139 completing the assessment, the participants then elaborated on their responses to the portfolios and furthe r described their views on creativity. In the present chapter, the researcher discusses the study results in relation to relevant literature on discipline specific creativity, assessments of creative products, and cross cultural creativity research. The ch apter starts by speaking to the study with regard to the field based research approach in investigating creativity in interior design. The next sections discuss primary results and further interpret the findings by research question. Finally, this chapter summarizes research limitations and directions for future research, and offers conclusions and implications. Studying Creativity within Interior Design Field Adapting this strategy, the researcher collected data from designer participants at their respective firms. Instead of investigating the participants during their hiring processes, the researc her asked them to participate in the study procedure, which was formalized but still reflected the actual hiring process. This helps strengthen ecological validity, which determines how well results can be generalized from a research setting to real world situations (Gall et al., 2007). Further, while many studies center on only the individual aspect of creativeness, this dissertation research also emphasizes the social t he domain, the person, and the field. In this study, the domain mainly refers to the interior design discipline; the person comprises design graduates; and the field consists of design professionals as real life gate keepers to the domain. The following se ctions discuss ecological validity of this study according to the main components of the theory.
140 interior design, educational and professional sectors play important parts in governing canons for learning and practicing. Although both groups agree on the importance of creativity, it is still doubtful whether they hold the same definitions of creativi ty. Some scholars Lee & Hagerty, 1996); however, educators and practitioners often share common n, September 1, 2010). This query seems critical for interior design graduates who have learnt to be creative from their professors, and have to prove their creative ability to experienced designers to start their careers. The hiring process in design prac tice typically takes place in a conference room at a design firm and involves a portfolio review and interview with a candidate whose portfolio has passed the initial screening. To address this issue, the present study exclusively explored the assessment o f creativity in portfolios, which is a vital part of entry level employment. The researcher employed the Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT) as a procedure similar to the actual portfolio review. In reality, though, designers do not utilize a form listin g specific criteria to assess portfolios. Using the CAT with the assessment form, this study formalized the evaluation procedure while reflecting the world assessments o f creativity similarity of the portfolio assessment to processes their firms used to screen job
141 applicants. A Tha review process] hit the point that we would typically look at in a portfolio. If you take that 12). During an actual hiring process, an applicant whose portfolio has passed the review would be invited to verbally present his/her work. It is important to note that the participa nts in this study did not meet students who created the portfolios; however, responses from the interview revealed the full hiring process. These support validity of the study results to apply in the real world employment. Graduating students who created t he portfolios reviewed in this study were students need to show their compilation of personal efforts, design abilities, and creativity in a portfolio as a means for employment (Linton, 2008). The sample of portfolios reviewed in this study belonged to interior design graduates who were using expanded versions of these portfolios to apply for jobs in reality. The use of the real portfolios confirms the study methodology as comparable to the real world situation and enhances the generalizability of the study results. g Design Directors represent the gate keepers experienced in reviewing portfolios an d making hiring decisions. All participants in the study were senior level practitioners from
142 prominent firms in Bangkok and Atlanta. The participants mostly engaged in corporate design. A majority of the participating firms specialized in commercial desig n, while also offering other services, such as hospitality and healthcare design. These firms have received national and/or international awards and recognition in design and architecture dents and educators can benefit from the insights of the noted designers participating in this study. Finding Interpretations The following sections discuss principal themes of the study results and then thoroughly interpret the findings based on the resea rch questions. The findings mainly support three premises: creativity as a discipline specific phenomenon, the universal perception of creativity in interior design, and the importance of persuasion in design creativity. The interpretations of the findings by research question are organized into Creativity as a Discipline Specific Phenomenon This study prov ides evidence to address a critical question in creativity research: can we apply creativity in general or in a specific area? Simon (2001) posits that produce something that is even if the creative pro cess is proven general, a domain still plays a vital role in the in a specific discipline influences how creativity is assessed and perceived.
143 Focusing on the realm of interior design, this dissertation study supports important roles of the domain and the field, as the social factors of creativity according to systems theory In this study, Thai and U.S. practitioners the gate keepers to and also experts in the domain, agreed on their judgments of creative portfolios and recognized similar aspects, including but not limited to novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, when defining creativity in design. The results endor to employ similar criteria in judging creative outcomes in that domain. Scholars have proposed several aspects to define creative products across disciplines; however, the majority agrees upon no velty and appropriateness (Averill, 2005; Gruber & Wallace, 1999; Hokanson, 2010; Jackson & Messick, 1965). There exists disagreement on other criteria, such as aesthetic and sensory aspects, which seem specific to some domains (e.g., Amabile, 1996; Eichen berger, 1978; Horng & Lin, 2009). In allied design areas, Barnard (1992) interior design, Casakin and Kreitler (2008) architecture, Christiaans (2002) and Dorst and Cross (2001) industrial design, suggested technical and aesthetic merits as domain re levant considerations to identify creative works. This dissertation research supports those previous studies, in that novelty, appropriateness, and other discipline relevant aspects, including technical and aesthetic merits, appear related to creativity in design. Interestingly, practitioners involved in this study had academic backgrounds in interior design (n = 24) or in architecture (n = 12); however, they considered similar aspects in assessing creative portfolios and defining creativity. This implies t hat design disciplines share a common language and provide similar training, values, and standards inherit to the domain.
144 Design fields exist in between the arts and sciences, but laypeople often associate design with art. As Goldschmidt (1999) described, is not identical to artistic creativity. Design entails both functionality and aesthetics, so designers act as synthesizers who Cross (2001) and Christiaans (2002) stated that design fields have their own particular criteria in defining creativity: Confirming the close relationship of novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, to overall creativity, this dissertation study distinguishes qualities of creative design works from those of scientific or artistic creative outcomes. perceptions of creativ ity. Csikszentmihalyi (1988) posits that, to perceive creativity, one Reinfor cing this notion, the results reveal that practitioners often defined creativity in relation to discipline relevant knowledge. The following presents examples of creativity definitions supplied by designers in the present study: Creativity, in my view, is initially derived from the understanding of the fundamentals. It is a collection of experiences in design, whether it is the great design that you have seen, the understanding of spaces or color schemes, or even the understanding of the overall composition ... (TH 13) Creativity is taking a space and making it work for the client, but also doing something unusual, something that you would not expect. That still works technically and will hold up over time in that it is unique to that space. (US 12)
145 The majo rity of both Thai (78.38%) and U.S. (60.53%) participants included novelty and appropriateness in their creativity concepts; this endorses the universal understanding that these two attributes are involved in creativity. Lubart and Guignard (2004), however claim that different domains may value these attributes differently, and this could be reflected when judges assign weights. For example, visual artists may focus on novelty, while those in medical fields may emphasize appropriateness in judging creative ness. When defining creativity, designers in the current research considered novelty and appropriateness as almost equally important, while also recognizing technical and aesthetic merits as well as other domain relevant criteria, such as design recognitio n and organization. philosophies and firm/market sector orientations. Design exists in between the arts and sciences, so design practitioners may have their own design philos ophies gravitating to different directions. Art oriented designers are probably attracted to innovative ideas, while those with science oriented philosophies may be drawn to appropriate solutions. Moreover, the majority of the participants in this study pr acticed corporate design. The findings could have been different if the designers had engaged in other design sectors. For instance, healthcare design professionals, who need to cope with medical treatment constraints in order to create properly functional designs, might be concerned about appropriate design solutions more than those professionals in the hospitality sector, who seem to gravitate more to novelty. Universal Perception of Creativity in Interior Design The study findings confirm that Thai and U.S. designers had high consensus in their assessments of creative portfolios and definitions of creativity. When evaluating
146 creative portfolios, both groups of practitioners considered novelty, appropriateness, tec hnical merit, aesthetic appeal, and other discipline relevant criteria, such as articulation and composition. No cultural differentiation surfaced in the assessments, and the findings support previous cross cultural research on judgments of creative artwor ks. Niu and Sternberg (2001) and Chen et al. (2002) indicated no significant cultural influence on the American and Chinese evaluations of creative artistic products created by American and Chinese college students. Compared to the current research, those two studies employed a larger sample size of creative products (139 collages and drawings, and 294 drawings) because each artwork required a small amount of time to create and evaluate in an experimental setting. Both studies also recruited non expert judg es to evaluate the artworks. In contrast, the sample of portfolios used in this study was actually utilized in the field and entailed a longer and harder process for the students to produce and for the practitioners, as experts in interior design, to asses s. Hence, the results basically support the universal perception of discipline specific creativity; experienced designers from different parts of the world do share similar considerations in defining creative design works. Moreover, both groups of practiti oners acknowledged that the portfolios provided much the student is able to develop his/her concept into the presentation. This would indicate his/her process of thinking and how well he/she can turn that idea into a 01). Interestingly, high creative portfolios seemed to portray the process behind them better than those with low creativity. Designer judges described high
147 Eisenman (2006) stressed that showing the thought process through a portfolio can When discussing creative design works, Thai and U.S. designers often referred to planes of 13). Designers also related the creative attributes: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal to design concept ] was unique and s considered dimensions [ scale and proportion ] and also a very good sense of [ materials and color aesthetic appeal. This supports the importance of expert judges and thei r familiarity with the discipline in assessing the portfolios as creative outcomes. Regarding the conceptual model developed from the systems theory, this dissertation study considers the realm of interior design and culture as the domain, which affects th e person and the field in creating and evaluating creativity (Figure 1 1). Figure 5 and culture. Focusing on the context of interior design, both Thai and U.S. designers in volved novelty, appropriateness, aesthetic appeal, exploration, design recognition, and organization in their definitions of creativity. It is important to note that these
148 dimensions did not stand alone but appeared interconnected in the creativity concept s. exploration as associated with creativity in design fields. Most importantly, the results suggest that, regardless of culture, the domain of interior design shapes pr perceptions of creativity by universal canons, values, and focuses. Designers seem unlikely to be completely insular, and even though they work in different parts of the world, they do share similar fundamentals and standards. Nevertheless, cu personal notions of creativity. The present study found no cultural differentiation surfacing in the assessments of creative portfolios, and the two groups of designers generally agreed on t heir concepts of creativity. However, minor cultural distinctions emerged in their definitions. Figure 5 1 illustrates that Thai designers viewed flexibility in ideas and design solutions as an attribute of design creativity, whereas U.S. designers conside red technical merit, emotional impact, imagination, and simplicity. The findings seem inconsistent with previous literature on Thai creativeness. Saengpunya (2005) and Panjamawat (2005) found that Thai creative eminences and college students occasionally a ssociated flexibility with creativity. However, we should note that those studies explored domain general creativity, while this dissertation study focused on discipline specific creativity. Additionally, Saengpunya (2005) interviewed three Thai artists an d designers and indicated imagination as the only domain specific creative design creativity. Employing implicit theories, Portillo (2002) found imagination as one of
149 the primary characteristics of creative talents in interior design, architecture, landscape architecture, and engineering This possibly implies that imagination could be another universal aspect of design creativity; however, regarding the limited sample size in of the portfolios. Although the researcher did not inform designers that the portfolios belonged to Thai students, U.S. participants could notice that they came from another (US 10). Graphics of these portfolio presentations appeared busier and c ontained more details practitioners showed higher consensus in their judgments than their U.S. counterparts whose agreement on appropriateness and aesthetic appeal of the portfolios was slightly low. This suggests that culture is a market differentiating factor in the context of interior design. Although designers around the world seem to share similar standards in creating and judging design works (Ledoux & Ledoux, 2010), a culture still influences design styles in each country. This could explain why U.S. designers who were less familiar with Thai design styles had a harder time judging appropriate and aesthetic values of the portfolios than Thai practitioners. Persuasion as an Important Factor in Discipline Specific Creativity Based on the interview responses, in addition to creativity in portfolios, designers and personality characterist ics before finalizing their hiring decisions. Job applicants
150 17) 08). Practitioners mostly focus on overa 17). Interestingly, these results support persuasion, the ability to communicate with others and persuade them of work ( Simonton, 1990), as a vital factor of design creativity. Practicing design, designers do not only solve design problems creatively, but also need to be capable of presenting and selling the solutions to coworkers and clients. The findings also reinfo rce the vital roles of the social factors: the domain and the field, in influencing creativity in design. A designer who can creatively produce design works may not be accepted as creative if others in the domain do not think so. In other words, to be crea tive in the interior design realm, only the individual factor is not enough; designers should be able to communicate well with and persuade others to believe in their works. Supporting this premise, MacKinnon (1962) explored personal characteristics of cre wi th the architects revealed that commitment, drive, and persuasive skills critically influenced their success in the late stage of their careers. Similarly, Guest (2010) recently proposed a list of basic knowledge and skills that design professionals ask fo r from entry 171).
151 Rela tionships among Assessment Criteria The following sections focus on detailed interpretations of findings based on the research questions. For the first three questions, the results from the combined sample iteria. Moreover, the findings show relationships among overall creativity, hiring potential, and the creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal. Question 1: Do experienced design practitioners perceive overall cre ativity in entry level interior design portfolios as predicting hiring potential? Question 2: What is the relative importance of the creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, in predicting overall creativity in p ortfolios? Question 3: What is the relative importance of the creative dimensions in potential? First of all, the findings confirm that overall creativity expressed in portfol ios was closely related to hiring potential as perceived by designers. This supports Dohr (1982) 24). Nelson (2010) also endorsed the importance of creativity in this digital age and suggested that kewise, Hokanson (2010) individual design firm may be what distinguishes the firm from competitors, and that The results al so indicate that the creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, were closely associated with overall creativity and
152 hiring potential. When assessing portfolios, designers considered not only overall creativity, bu t also the creative dimensions as indicating the perceived potential to call portfolio evaluations, which found close relationships among novelty, resolution which represents the appropriate value, style which includes technical skills and aesthetics, of interior design works supports the associations among overall creativi ty, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal. Two decades ago, Baker and Sondhi (1989) proposed that, in the interior design The majority of [experienced designers] base this assist [experienced designers] in understanding of not only individual designers and their work but also their larger design vision prepared portfolio can help a designer gain employment. Similarly, findings from this study confirm the important role of creative portfolios in the hiring process. The multiple regression analysis shows that novelty linked most clos ely with overall creativity, followed by appropriateness, aesthetic appeal, and technical merit, respectively. Likewise, using concept analysis, Pedersen and Burton (2009) found that novelty and ideation appeared most frequently in concepts of creativity s upplied in the second highest influence on overall creativity, the finding s endorse the general
153 consensus involving the two main attributes of creative design works. Additionally, the analysis shows that the creative dimensions could also predict hiring potential, and their relative importance appeared in the same order as in pr edicting overall creativity. the newness of a portfolio, appeared as the best indicator of creativity in por tfolios, followed by style the development and polish of a portfolio; whereas resolution the appropriate, functional value of a portfolio, did not impact creativity. Findings from both studies support novelty as a leading component of creative portfoli os; however, only results from the present study indicate appropriateness. The contrasting results between these studies could stem from interpretations of the criterion since the studies used different terms to signify the functional value of a portfolio. interchangeable, they may convey diverse meanings to judges. Due to intricacy in defining the functional quality, judges may need additional information to be able to fully assess the criterion. A particip US 08). These results suggest that novelty is easier to identify than appropriateness, which requires more knowledge and expertise to recognize and may rely more heavily on an explanation of the design works. Having less influence on overall creativity and hiring potential, aesthetic a ppeal and technical merit still impacted those aspects. As Amabile (1996) recommends, in
154 Barnard (1992) categorized 12 criteria to judge interior design projects into three main categories: creativity, aesthetic merit, and technical skills. Aspects in the aesthetics and technical merit groups related to overall creativity; however, criteria in the creativity category, including appropriateness, uniqueness, and originality, had greater impact on overall creativity. This is consistent with the results of the current study. Although novelty and appropriateness appeared more closely related to overall creativity than aesthetic and technical merits, they all impacted overall creativity. This does not only support the general consensus on novelty and appropriatene ss, but also reinforces the discipline relevant criteria of technical and aesthetic aspects. assessments of crea tive design portfolios. Results from these questions disclose creativity, hiring potential, and the creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and a esthetic appeal. Question 4: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive the overall level of creativity in portfolios and hiring potential? Question 5: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners evaluate the creative dimensions in portfolios? Question 6: How do T hai and U.S. practitioners perceive overall creativity in portfolios as predicting hiring potential? Question 7: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners perceive the creative dimensions in portfolios as predicting hiring potential?
155 The findings confirm that des igners from the cultures under study appeared able to gauge overall creativity in portfolios and perceived hiring potential, and they also saw overall creativity and the creative dimensions influencing their hiring decisions. This reinforces the universal importance of creativity in the interior design realm; regardless of culture, designers do recognize creativity in judging design works and selecting entry level designers. No cultural differentiation surfaced in the assessments, and the findings support e arlier studies on the American and Chinese judgments of creative artworks produced by American and Chinese college students. Niu and Sternberg (2001) and Chen et al. (2002) found no significant cultural impact on the evaluations. Interestingly, in both stu dies, Chinese judges assigned higher average ratings than did American judges. Niu and Sternberg explained that American judges seemed to hold a higher In the present study Thai designers gave significantly lower average scores on all criteria than did U.S. practitioners. It is possible that Thai designers may be more familiar with design works in the sample of Thai portfolios and tended to underrate the portfolios. On the contrary, U.S. practitioners may find the portfolios different from what they usually see in the United States; this could make them perceive a higher level of creativity in the portfolios than Thai designers did. Importantly, this speaks to the power of n ovelty in defining creativity in design (Pedersen & Burton, 2009). Supporting this explanation, the interview responses show that most Thai designers ranked the overall quality of the portfolios as average or lower than portfolios they had previously seen. Conversely, U.S. practitioners mostly agreed that the portfolios were of higher quality than other portfolios.
156 Despite this variation, Thai and U.S. designers showed high consensus in their judgments of all criteria: overall creativity, hiring potential, novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal. Looking at each group, Thai designers agreed hi ghly on every dimension, while U.S. designers showed slightly lower consensus on appropriateness and aesthetic appeal. This was not surprising; in previous studies on assessments of creative products, these two aspects appeared more complex to assess than 13 creative attributes, Casakin and Kreitler (2008) indicated that almost all attributes obtained high inter rater reliabilities ranging from 0.76 to 1.00. Only usefulne ss, representing the appropriateness aspect, had a reliability of .65, suggesting a slightly low agreement among the judges. In the present research, designers identified appropriateness as the most difficult dimension to assess due to insufficient informa tion If I had an overall understanding of what the problem was, it would give me a little bit more overview in my mind of what I was 02). Previous related studies also showed a l ow inter rater reliability of drawings rated drawings on aesthetic success, technical skill, and creativity. The results revealed that aesthetic success had the lo west reliability of .57. Runco and Charles (1993) explained among U.S. practitioners on appropriateness and aesthetic appeal, which showed more variability in interpretation than the other criteria in this study.
157 In addition, Thai and U.S. practitioners perceived relative importance of the creative dimensions, in terms of predicting hirin g potential, slightly differently. When making their hiring decisions, U.S. designers considered all of the creative attributes, whereas Thai designers focused less on technical merit. This could be due to different interpretations of technical merit. Defi ning the criterion, U.S. designers may include construct a three dimensional perspective, and their understanding of construction, such as building codes and techniques. However, Thai designers may see only skills to polish design presentations, so they tend to devalue technical merit. The cultural variation on technical merit could also relate to professional responsibilities in Thai and U.S. design firms. A Thai entry level designer does not need to do technical work. Typically, Thai firms have specialists to create design drawings design can be learned and taught, or we can 18). Conversely, entry level designers in the United States often start with technical work in a firm. A U.S. participant described, 15). Likewise, Nelson (2010) clarified that designers traditionally start a project with creative decisions, refinements, followed by a long time spent documenting the dec isions. With digital technology, we can start the
158 192). This emphasizes th e need for entry level designers who are not only creative, but also capable of using technologies in U.S. design firms. To supplement the statistical results, the last three research questions explored patt erns emerging in the interview responses of practitioners on the portfolios and design creativity. Findings from these questions indicate resemblances and variations applica nts, and also reveal definitions of creativity by culture. Question 8: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners describe their primary criteria for assessing portfolios? Question 9: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners view creativity in portfolios with respect to hiring potential? Question 10: How do Thai and U.S. practitioners define design creativity in their own terms? The interview responses generally reinforce the statistical findings and reveal that both practitioner groups considered all assessment criteria when screening portfolios at their firms. This supports the roles of overall creativity and its dimensions in an actual portfolio review. However, the assessment form used in the evaluation process may a during the interview. It is important to underline that the purpose of the interview was to offer an opportunity for practitioner judges to elaborate on their assessments rather than to affirm that the designers would actually employ the criteria in thei r portfolio reviews. The findings also disclose cultural distinctions between the groups of designers. U.S. practitioners reported overall creativity as the foremost aspect in judging portfolios, while Thai designers considered both overall creativity and aesthetic appeal almost
159 equally. This is consistent with previous literature stressing the aesthetic value in Thai creative artistic and design products. Comparing creative performances in the sciences, arts and design, and education, Saengpanya (2005) fou nd that Thai artists and designers often associate creative works with aesthetics; scientists regard complicated quality; and educators relate creative products to clarity. Further, Thai practitioners focused on appropriateness more than their U.S. counter parts, who emphasized technical merit. As explained earlier, Thai professionals do not primarily look for technical competency in entry abilities to think creatively and solve design problems appropri ately. Most interestingly, both groups of designers considered novelty when assessing portfolios; however, compared to the other aspect s, it was cited the least. Given the statistical results showing that novelty had the closest relation to and highest imp act on creativity, practitioners might view novelty synonymously with creativity. As a U.S. 05). Also, another Thai participant descr ibed a creative 18). Another explanation m ight be that, in real world practice demands, opportunities to pursue truly novel designs are limited. Clients tend to accept appropriate or appealing design solutions rather than unique solutions. Hence, professionals may look for entry level designers with skills to design properly more than those who can design uniquely. When elaborating on actual hiring processes, both groups of designers confirmed creativity in portfolios factored into employment decisions. Nevertheless, to finalize their
160 characteristics as well. Interestingly, the findings appear inconsistent with the statistical results indicating high influence of the creative dimensions: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal, on hiring potential. Designers rarely discussed these aspects when finalizi ng a hiring decision. Further, none of the designers cited novelty or appropriateness. It could be explained that, in an actual hiring process, design professionals only interview applicants whose portfolios were already approved. Hence, when asked about t heir criteria in hiring a new designer, practitioners might think of the interview process and focus on the person rather than the portfolio. Nonetheless, designers recognized the creative attributes when defining design creativity, with an exception that Thai practitioners did not refer to technical merit in their concepts. This suggests that although Thai designers considered technical merit when assessing creative portfolios, they may perceive this aspect as independent from the overall concept of creati vity. Since specialists typically perform technical work for Thai firms, this group of designers might consider abilities to design originally, appropriately, and aesthetically more important than technical skills. Likewise, Hokanson (2010) discussed creat ivity in interior design by explicitly discussing qualities of novelty, appropriateness, and aesthetics, while implicitly reflecting technical skills: [C]reativity is an essential element of any form of interior design. It addresses the functional aspects of design in making of the built environment; it exists within the aesthetics of the work, in challenging the cognitive and visual limits of the viewers; and it exists within the very process of interior design practice, in being inventive in the way the w ork is done. (p. 20) In addition, the findings reveal that both Thai and U.S. practitioners recognized novelty and appropriateness more than aesthetic appeal and technical merit in their
161 creativity definitions. This endorses the universal consensus of crea tivity, involving novelty and appropriateness as primary components (e.g., Averill, 2005; Boden, 1999; Mayer, 1999) Even though technical and aesthetic merits appeared less important, these aspects still played essential parts in determining creativity in design. However, practitioners may perceive the qualities of aesthetics and technical merit as the fundamentals of every design work rather than attributes of creative designs. The interview responses also suggest that both U.S. and Thai designers held si milar conceptions of creativity when assessing levels of creativity in design portfolios. Limitations Gall et al. (2007) state that almost every research design contains inherent limitations to acknowledge. For the present dissertation study, the first con straint relates to the data collection period. The researcher gathered data in 2009, while the global recession starting in 2007, still remained. Since at that time the United States had already reached the low of the recession, a number of design projects had been cancelled or put on hold. As a result, many designers in the country became less active and more interested in projects in other countries than usual. In Thailand, the economy was just starting to slow down, so designers tended to focus on their existing projects more seriously than normal in order to maintain their businesses. These non normative events affected the participation of designers from the two countries. U.S. practitioners seemed more enthusiastic to be involved and perceived the samp le of Thai portfolios as more interesting than did Thai designers. Other limitations regard the research methodology. The researcher designed the study procedure as similar to the actual hiring process as possible. However, it was not feasible to set up in terviews between designers and students who created the portfolios
162 used in this study. The portfolio assessment without the applicant presentation could five percent of the designer partic ipants (n = 9) also brought up this incomplete process as follows: The other half of the interview is the person. That person is missing today. I not even sure the images are 13) I would like the person to come in and present his portfolio because right now these were just the p ortfolios with no presenters and no explanations behind the thought process. Sometimes I quickly skimmed through and fact their creators might be good at presenting their work. (TH 20) Furthermore, the perceived range of creativity levels in the portfolios could limit the generalizability of the results. The pilot study findings affirmed a range in quality of the chosen portfolios; ratings ranging from 1.50 to 6.50 on a 7 point scale characterized poor average and excellent creative categories. However, giving scores from 3.55 to 5.44, designer participants detected average and relatively high creative groups. Although only one practitioner mentioned this issue, his comment is wo rth considering: 15). Therefore, the study results may not be ap plicable to portfolios with low or very high creativity. Besides, the portfolios collected from the single interior design program may not fully represent entry level portfolios in general. About 17% of the designers (n = 6) remarked on the related styles are not exactly the same, but since they are from the same class, they try to do
163 movie, and there was no one here that was kind of exploring more simple, practical, down to 07). More importantly, 36% of the designers (n = 13) noted sketching, which remai ns a vital skill in the design field. Even though the similarity could help control the portfolio pool, these portfolios may not completely reflect judgments of portfolios showcasing a variety of styles. Another limitation concerns the judging process itse lf. As Amabile (1996) states, judge exhaustion during a long evaluation process could threaten inter judge reliability. researcher created an abridged version of the port folios. After the assessment, a few practitioners asked whether the sample contained the complete portfolios. Although the range of work and consistency of the portfolios were similar to the full versions, the results may not exactly mirror an actual revie w of the complete portfolios. Nonetheless, 22% of the practitioners (n = 8) noted that it is difficult to review the 12 portfolios in one the more projects in this review would have been worse because they would require scores started going down as I went through, maybe just because I was tired of looking 07). Ideally, having m ore time to assess a smaller sample of complete portfolios would provide results closer to an actual review process. However, an appropriate sample size of portfolios is also important to the study validity. A final limitation appears inherent to a study o f creativity across cultures. Many scholars have indicated the limited body of creativity knowledge beyond the Western
164 boundary (e.g., Kim, 2007; Saengpanya, 2005). Specific to the present study, the lack of literature on Thai creativity limits the data an alysis and discussion. Further, due to a paucity of creativity research outside the West, cross cultural creativity studies have mostly relied on Western views and theories, which could cause cultural preconceptions (Lau et al., 2004a; Westwood & Low, 2003 ). The researcher designed this dissertation study based on the Western theoretical models because Eastern research perspectives on creativity are yet unclear. Trying to eliminate cultural biases, the researcher involved contributions of Thai experts in th e data collection and analysis as well as cautiously interpreted findings. However, uncontrolled cultural factors could affect the results. For example, a few Thai designers seemed to devalue evidence based research in design; this attitude could negativel y impact their judgments and interview responses. Directions for Future Research Findings from the current dissertation research establish a path for future work on the evaluation of creativity in entry level design portfolios. This study provides evidence supporting domain specific creativity, the universal perception of creativity in interior design, as well as the importance of persuasion in design creativity. However, we could not make wide generalizations based on only participants from the two culture s, but should further study and examine the findings. Replicating this study and expanding a sample of participants from several countries will help prove whether the assessment, attributes, and concept of creativity in interior design are universal or not Given the judge exhaustion and the deficiency of information to rate appropriate design solutions in each portfolio, future research should employ fewer portfolios while presenting more descriptive content of the portfolios. A critical feedback from desi gners
165 09). It is also difficult for practitioners to devote more than one hour to the study procedure. Thus, decreasing the number of portfolios and using full portfolios will allow designer participants to understand the background of projects in each portfolio better and to judge how well those projects were solved more precisely. Another suggestion stems from the assumption that Thai that the sample of portfolios came from Thailand. Hence, it will be interesting for future research to utilize both Thai and U.S. portfolios in the assessment. By doing so, we will portfolios from their respective cultures affects their perceptions and evaluations of creativity in the portfolios. Further, regarding culture as a market differentiating factor, future research may use a sample of portfolios or interior design projects c ollected from diverse nations. It will be fascinating to see whether practitioner judges can distinguish cultural variations in the sample, and An actual hiring process involves assessments of portfolios and job candidates. Given the limitation of not including the person in the hiring process, future research may utilize a sample of video clips showing portfolios with applicant presentations. This will increase validity of a study in reflecting employment in the field. Moreover, involving the applicant presentation in the evaluation will offer an opportunity to further explore personal characteristics, communication skills and potential to work and fit in their firms. It will be fascinating to see whether these factors affect overall creativity and hiring potential perceived by practitioner judges.
166 A final recommendation is to replicate and expand this study by recruiting design students, educators, and practitioners as judges. These stakeholders all participate in an actual portfolio review. Students create their entry level portfolios to showcase their best work from educational experiences and their potential for future achievement. Educators guide the students to develop original and meaningful work. In the hiring process. Previous literature on the evaluation of creativity in design h as shown that groups of judges sometimes hold different views. Barnard (1992) found that designers and educators showed consensus in their judgments of creative interior design projects, but designers associated creativity with functionality more than educ ators, who rather related creativity to aesthetics. Similarly, Casakin and Kreitler (2008) revealed that, in evaluations of creative design solutions, skilled architects emphasized innovative qualities, while design students focused more on functional aspe cts of design solutions. Thus, it will be fascinating to involve these judges in future research to discover similarities and/or differences among their perceived levels of creativity in portfolios. Conclusions and Implications This dissertation study expl ored discipline specific creativity across cultures by level portfolios and perceptions of creativity in the context of interior design. The research questions were basically addressed: wha t do practitioners consider to be creative in portfolios, how do practitioners define design creativity, and how do cultural influences impact the assessment of creative portfolios and the definition of creativity? The study findings support the discipline specificity and universal perception of creativity in interior design and also suggest the importance of persuasion in design
167 creativity. Thai and U.S. designers both recognized novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal as indicating overall creativity in portfolios. The interview responses also affirmed the relationship between the creative dimensions and overall creativity, while stressing that the dimensions did not stand alone, but were interrelated along with other discipline spe cific criteria. More importantly, practitioners confirmed or even hired. In addition to the portfolios, work capability, communication skills, and personal character novelty and appropriateness, followed by aesthetic appeal, technical merit, and other domain relevant aspects, such as design recognition and organization. Since the creative dimensions appeared significant in the assessment of creative portfolios and definition of design creativity, delineations of these attributes should be presented: Novelty: This stud y supports the universal, leading role of novelty in defining creativity in design works. Since this quality is easy to notice, designer participants had high consensus in their judgments and viewed it as a primary criterion when assessing creativity. Perh aps, they viewed novelty synonymously with creativity. A portfolio with novelty could attract attention from practitioners in the first place, though the other criteria also play essential parts in the hiring process. Appropriateness: Designers also recogn ized appropriateness as an important criterion in indicating creativity in design. This supports a premise that a creative design should not only differ from others, but also needs to solve its problems and serve its functions well. Compared to the other d imensions, appropriateness appeared most
168 difficult for designer judges to assess. This may be due to the time constraint and insufficient content of the portfolios. Further, culture probably played a part in assessing appropriate design solutions. U.S. des igners had a harder time than Thai practitioners to evaluate design works from Thailand. Technical merit: Practitioners saw technical merit as another essential aspect in judging portfolios. This supports domain relevant skills in creativity. Similar to no velty, designer s simply assessed technical merit in the portfolios and showed high consensus in their judgments. However, when making hiring decisions and defining creativity, Thai designers recognized this aspect less than U.S. designers did. This could b e due to a cultural variation regarding professional responsibilities in Thai and U.S. design firms. Aesthetic appeal: Similar to technical merit, when evaluating creative design works and describing creativity, designers considered aesthetic merit as a di scipline relevant consideration. Thai practitioners agreed on the aesthetic value of the portfolios and cited the aspect in their creativity definitions more than U.S. designers. Similar to appropriateness, the results may relate to the influence of cultur e on design styles in each country. This could explain why aesthetics appeared complex for U.S. practitioners, who were not familiar with the Thai portfolios, to assess. This dissertation study offers an insight into what practitioners expect in new hires through the assessment of creativity in entry level portfolios. Due to the universal perception of creativity found in the present research, implications can benefit both Thai and U.S. design educators and students. Educators could emphasize creativity and its attributes: novelty, appropriateness, technical merit, and aesthetic appeal in their studio courses and curriculum to prepare students for practitioner expectations. They may
169 structure design problems to address creativity and its dimensions as well a s include them in criteria to evaluate the solutions. Importantly, educators should also guide students to weigh the dimensions in each design project properly. Specific to developing portfolios, educators could encourage students to produce portfolios tha t are unique and explicable while also showcasing their skills in solving design problems originally, appropriately, and aesthetically. Any one of the creative dimensions cannot fully influence overall creativity of a portfolio. Students need to show all t he aspects in their works. They should also present a variety of their technical skills, such as using computer programs and hand sketching, in their portfolios. As the study findings confirm, design practitioners viewed a creative design product as repres enting a creative process behind it, and they would like to see the creative process behind creative works in a portfolio. In addition to having a creative portfolio, students could enhance their employment possibility by improving their work capability, c ommunication skills, and overall personality. Design, as a creative profession, requires people with creative talent to create works that challenge a norm and, at the same time, suit a social system. Design, as a anguage and standards. Judging creative design works and selecting creative designers involve several aspects; nonetheless, experienced designers seem to share some similar considerations, including but not limited to novelty, appropriateness, technical me rit, and aesthetic appeal. Although guidelines for educators to train and for students to develop creativity in order to meet the practitioner expectation.
170 Figure 5 1. Summary of creative characteristics by domain
171 APPENDIX A PARTICIPATION REQUES T LETTER
173 APPENDIX B PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT INSTRUMENT
175 APPENDIX C INTERVIEW QUESTIONS 1 Which portfolio do you consider as the strongest overall? Why? 2 Which portfolio do you consider as the weakest overall? Why? 3 What criteria did you consider to be the most important when reviewing the portfolios? 4 How important is creativity in an entry level des ign portfolio? 5 Does showing a creative portfolio influence the ability to be hired as an entry level designer in your firm? 6 Besides creativity, what aspects influence being hired as an entry level designer? 7. In general, how did the digital portfolios yo u just reviewed compare to entry level portfolios that you see at your firm? 8. What did you think of the evaluation process for reviewing the digital portfolios? 9. What do you remember as the defining qualities in the most outstanding entry level port folio that you have seen? 10. Is there anything else that you would like to add? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
176 APPENDIX D QUESTIONNAIRE FOR JU DGES 1. What is your current formal position title? ____________________________ 2. Your academic background/degree(s) ______________________________ 3. School(s) where you obtained your desi gn degree(s) 4. How many years have you practiced design? ____________ years 5. Do you focus on interior design? ___________________________________ 6. Do you have a design specialty? ___________________________________ 7. Briefly overview the type of w ork your firm does. ________________________________________________________________ 8. How big is your firm? ____________ employees 9. How many entry level designers do you (or your firm) typically hire a year? ______________ designers 10. How many year s have you reviewed portfolios? __________ years 11. How many portfolios do you review a year (approximately)? ______portfolios 1. _____________________________________ 2. ______________ __________________________ ___ 3. __________________ 4. _______ 5. ______________ 6. (Design Specialty) ________________ 7. ______________________________________________________________________ 8. ____________ 9. ________ 10. ________ 11. ________
177 APPENDIX E UFIRB APPROVAL
180 APPENDIX F EXAMPLES OF PORTFOLIOS
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203 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Siriporn Kobnithikulwong received her Bachelor of Architecture (major in interior architecture) with honors from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, in 2003. Upon graduation, she practiced interior design and taught as a full time instructor in the Department of Interior Architecture at Thammasat University. In 2005, she earned a scholarship from the Royal Thai Government for gra duate studies and was admitted to the graduate program in Interior Design at the University of Florida. She completed her Master of Interior Design in 2007 and enrolled in the Ph.D. program in the College of Design, Construction and Planning. During her gr aduate years, she conducted studies on applied creativity in interior design and was also a teaching assistant for interior design theories and graphic communications courses. In addition, she created graphic illustrations for Color Planning for Interiors a published book of Dr. Margaret Portillo, Chair of the Interior Design Department, University of Florida. Upon receiving her Doctor of Philosophy, she plans to return to Thailand and resume her work as a faculty member in the Department of Interior Archi tecture, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Thammasat University.