Thinking with Sketches

Barbara Tversky, Masaki Suwa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

108 Citations (Scopus)


Sketches serve to externalize ideas, render fleeting ideas permanent, confer coherence on scattered concepts, and turn internal thoughts public. They can be created and recreated, examined and re-examined, configured and reconfigured, considered and reconsidered, for clarity and for creativity. The schematic vocabulary of sketches allows both expression and discovery of ideas. Sketching is integral to design, where vagueness encourages reinterpretation and discourages fixation. Using sketches to those ends requires constructive perception, a combination of a perceptual skill of reconfiguring and a cognitive skill of finding remote associations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTools for Innovation
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199870264
ISBN (Print)9780195381634
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Creativity
  • Design
  • Diagram
  • Discovery
  • Reconfigure
  • Sketch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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