Multiple representations as a platform for situated learning systems in designing

John Gero, Rabee Reffat

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This paper introduces the development of multiple representations as a platform for learning design knowledge in relation to the situations within which it was recognised. The benefits of this approach derive from the fact that knowledge is more useful when it is learned in relation to its situation and less useful when it is learned out of context. The situation is the way in which knowledge is located in relation to its surroundings. The situatedness of knowledge is constructed through learning which parts of the surroundings are in conjunction with it across different representations of a design composition. In order to learn the situatedness of design knowledge a medium is needed to present the design composition from different views, each of which allows for various situations to be encountered. What makes multiple representations useful in the context of situatedness is that they provide the opportunities for different and rich relationships among design knowledge to be constructed. This provides a system within which to learn from a number of representations in which the situatedness of knowledge can be discerned and learned. Architectural design compositions are chosen as a vehicle for the demonstration of the concept of situatedness in designing because the discovery of relationships among parts of the design composition is a fundamental task in designing. The paper shows how multiple representations could provide a platform for situated learning systems in designing. What kind of situated knowledge could be learned from some of the possible representations of an architectural design composition is discussed. The regularities of relationships between design knowledge and its situations are investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-351
Number of pages15
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2001


  • Learning in designing
  • Multiple representations
  • Situatedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Software
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Artificial Intelligence


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