Competence in design praxis appears not to be measured by the quantity of knowledge gained, but by knowing where to find it, which specific kind of knowledge to apply in a particular situation, and how to use it when needed. It is the development of thinking skills that is critical in design education (…) there is more in knowing how to design than just knowing about designs. Meta-knowledge is the knowledge of how to organize what one knows (…) knowledge acquisition is based upon the organization and development of conceptual structures (…) in order to model design thinking processes, the conceptual mapping of design ideas can be constructed into larger structures, the think-maps.


Think maps

  • they are founded on constructivism (active learner/learning by doing) and mapping (organizing and representing knowledge)
  • they propose that by constructing a map that reflects one’s thinking in a domain, we make knowledge learned explicit. they attempt to convey knowledge directly.
  • they are a cognitive teaching framework based upon the student’s ability to organize and formulate knowledge structures in design thinking.

A concept map is a representation of knowledge structures through a graphlike
structure of nodes and links (…) a map is achieved when a meaningful structure has been created (…) an important distinction is frequently made between in-domain linkages in the map and cross-domain linkages (…) Think-Maps is a form of conceptual mapping for design


Rivka Oxman, 2004. Think-maps: teaching design thinking in design education. In Design Studies 25, pp. 63–91, doi:10.1016/S0142-694X(03)00033-4

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