Observations on concept generation and sketching in engineering design

Research in Engineering Design (Impact Factor: 1.94). 01/2009; 20(1):1-11. DOI: 10.1007/s00163-008-0055-0

ABSTRACT The generation of ideas is an essential element in the process of design. One suggested approach to improving the quality
of ideas is through increasing their quantity. In this study, concept generation is examined via brainstorming, morphology
charts and sketching. Statistically significant correlations were found between the quantity of brainstormed ideas and design
outcome. In some, but not all, experiments, correlations were found between the quantity of morphological alternatives and
design outcome. This discrepancy between study results hints at the role of project length and difficulty in design. The volume
of dimensioned drawings generated during the early-to-middle phases of design were found to correlate with design outcome,
suggesting the importance of concrete sketching, timing and milestones in the design process.

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