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

Hernan Casakin, Vishal Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2019


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

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Computer Science Applications


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