Asta Raami

Aalto University

Twitter: @AstaRaami

Designers’ Intuitions – About the use and development of intuition related to creative process

Intuition is often described being one of the most important tools of creation among designers, artists and researchers. Intuition is an integral part of human thinking and together with reasoning faculties it forms the basis of it. Even in everyday life all individuals need intuitive faculties, but in complex cognitive tasks as visioning, creating and problem solving the role of intuition is fundamental. Even intuition is superior to conscious reasoning in some specific situations, these different thinking modes can often be best utilized when combined.

Both reasoning and intuitive faculties need training and practice in order to utilize the potential of them. However, the formal education and even design studies are strongly based on development of reasoning faculties and intuition is ignored hence its potential is lost. Even if intuition is used, the argumentation has to be based on rationalization.

The objective of this study is in use of intuition and the developmental aspects of it researched through the experiences of designers and people using a lot of intuition. The data has been collected from intuition coaching courses, the interviews of designers and highly intuitive persons, including my own experience as a teacher and a designer. The data includes designers’ descriptions of their intuitive experiences, the ways they understand and utilize intuition as well as their thoughts of developing intuition further.

The outcomes reveal that the highly intuitive personal experiences are usually extremely meaningful to the person and they have an essential role when creating. Yet they are kept private due to the common tendency to hide and deny intuition. The outcomes suggest that when bringing these experiences into consciousness and especially when they are shared with others, it helps a person to build a deeper understanding about the personal creative process. As a result, it also strengthens the professional expertise and personal self-esteem.

The data strongly supports the current understanding that intuition is a continuum which can be developed. One of my main interests was researching if intuition can be developed with coaching, or even to in a direction of an intentional tool. This means that intuition is not just random coincidence or emotion based arbitrary vibe. If using intuition as an intentional tool, it requires examining the accuracy and reliability of intuition. Even these aspects are challenging to evaluate, the outcomes based on designers’ experiences suggest there is a possibility of this evaluation. Based on these, I have collected some parameters, which may help when evaluating the reliability of intuitive information in more general level.