Random Drift and Design Creativity: Evolution of Drawings in the Laboratory
Keywords: cultural evolution, random drift, cultural transmission, power-law distribution, design creation, design management
AbstractPrevious cultural evolutionary analyses argue that random-copying model that is analogous to genetic drift in population genetics explains a variety of real-world datasets. Few empirical investigations have been done on how cultural traits are actually generated and selected. We present experimental data that matches random-copying simulation very well. In our experiment, designers copied what they considered well designed, and eliminated the poor ones, and designed several novel drawings by different design strategies in a cultural transmission chain. What were conventionally thought useful for designers to produce designs that prosper, such as practice, exposure to other design and experience in design, do not quite contribute to its prosperity. We suggest that some design’s creation processes as well as its market may be value-neutral.