Insights from a latent semantic analysis of patterns in design expertise : Implications for education

Hernan Casakin*, Vishal Singh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)


Design and design thinking are increasingly being taught across several disciplines—ranging from arts, architecture, and technology and engineering to business schools—where expertise plays a central role. A substantial corpus of literature on research in regard to design expert and design expertise has accumulated in the last decades. However, in spite of its importance for design and design education, the topic has remained largely unframed. A major goal of this study was to carry out an assessment of literature through leading interdisciplinary design journals in order to identify main topics and categorize them into thematic patterns concerned with expertise in design. A structured assessment approach based on Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) was used over 861 abstracts. The emerging thematic patterns associated with design expertise allowed a categorization at different levels of detail, which included 80, 50, 20, and 12 factors analyses, respectively. The major contribution of the study was to offer a structured assessment of key design literature that enabled to gain a clearer and more comprehensive understanding of the thematic patterns in the discussion on design expertise. Implications of the identified key factors for design education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number208
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Design education
  • Design expert
  • Design expertise
  • Expertise
  • Latent semantic analysis
  • Thematic pattern


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