A proposed conceptual framework of drawing ability: implication for research in design education

Conference item

Di Giovanni, M. 2019. A proposed conceptual framework of drawing ability: implication for research in design education. SPACE International Conference 2019 on Architectural Culture and Society. London, United Kingdom SPACE Studies Publications. pp. 94-101
AuthorsDi Giovanni, M.

Drawing ability and drawing knowledge are historically regarded as the fundamental competences to be developed in design education. Contemporary debates about the topic mostly focus on two major issues: 1) the effects of drawing ability on learning outcomes as critical reflections on the relationship between students’ design performances and design industry; 2) the cognitive determinants that influence the ability to draw as clarifications of complex mental processes for given graphic tasks. Despite the extraordinary contribution that the cognitive perspective has given to the topic, students’ perception about their ability to draw discloses other realities rarely investigated within the field of drawing. These realities need, therefore, to be framed in a unique model in order to find explanations to the statement “I can’t draw.” This article proposes the conceptual framework of a research project that aims to explore the factors that inhibit the ability to draw and compromise the drawing experience for undergraduate students in design related programmes at universities of East Midlands, UK. Based on the contribution of the current literature on drawing ability and supported by the theoretical constructs of Human Cognition, Mindset and Human Agency, the framework defines four core domains of drawing ability: cognitive, psychomotor, psychologic, contextual. Within each domain it is possible to identify a set of factors that potentially influence the ability to draw: cognitive and psychomotor capabilities, motivational drives, emotional states, socio-cultural beliefs. Taken together, these factors provide a more nuanced and comprehensive view of internal and external conditions influencing the ability to draw. The most prominent implication is that the proposed conceptual framework represents a valuable tool for students and educators to consider all the dynamics determining the drawing experience. It also serves to foster constructive dialogues and pedagogical plans as prevention of negative learning outcomes from the design experience.

KeywordsDrawing ability; Cognition; Motivation; Emotion; Design education
ConferenceSPACE International Conference 2019 on Architectural Culture and Society
PublisherSPACE Studies Publications
Web address (URL)https://spacestudies.co.uk/product/ebook-e-proceedings-space-international-conference-2019-on-architectural-culture-and-society-29-november-1-december-2019-london/
File Access Level
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
OnlineNov 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted19 Nov 2019
Deposited20 Mar 2023
Page range94-101
Book titleArchitectural Culture and Society
Place of publicationLondon, United Kingdom
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Drawing ability and its determinants: A conceptual model
Di Giovanni, M. 2019. Drawing ability and its determinants: A conceptual model. East Midlands Doctoral Network (EMDoc). Derby 11 - 11 Sep 2019