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General notes and research questions about reflection as a cognitive process.

Reflection is when a person stops doing something and thinks about why and how he's doing it, relating it all to a broader context.

Reflection is very important in design, because it lets the designer “take stock” of what they're doing. It helps designers:

  • learn from their experiences, and
  • evaluate the impact of their actions in a broader context.

I think reflection is a behaviour that is partly innate. Some people can do it better than others. Sometimes it is brought out through experience; other times through education.

Some “personality indicators” can spot reflective individuals with fairly good confidence levels.

  • Does this constitute a measure of an effective practitioner?
  • Assuming reflection is an important characteristic in educational settings, does this help us identify non-reflective persons?
  • Can other characteristics of non-reflective individuals help customize education to help bring it out in them?

Reflecting on a design situation was seen to have a strong effect on the perception, analysis, and framing of a problem [Sch83][GK06].

See Also


Sch83. a D. Schön. 1983. Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions. London: Temple Smith.
GK06. a J.S. Gero and U. Kannengiesser. 2006. The situated function-behaviour-structure framework. Design Studies, 25:373-391.
research/reflection.txt · Last modified: 2020.03.12 13:30 (external edit)