Observations on concept generation and sketching in engineering design. Res Eng Des

Research in Engineering Design (Impact Factor: 1.23). 01/2009; 20(1):1-11. DOI: 10.1007/s00163-008-0055-0


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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    • "This gives a good sketcher an advantage over other designers. It has also been found that sketching is most effective when paired with other forms of communication, such as annotations, verbal communication, or hand gestures (Song & Agogino, 2004; Yang, 2009; Adler & Davis, 2007; Purcell & Gero, 1998). While each of these media is important, sketching is suggested to be the most important for ideation (McKoy et al., 2001; Linsey et al., 2011). "
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    DESCRIPTION: This paper has been accepted for Design Studies, and is pending proofing.
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    • "Produced to share and explain an idea to other designers Persuasive sketch Usually drawn in full colour giving an exact representation to 'sell' the represented concept Handover sketch Communicates an idea to another team of the design process to produce models and prototypes. Pipes (2007) Thematic sketch Emphasises the aesthetics of the product Package-constrained sketch Realistic representations of the proposed design Yang (2009) Dimensioned sketch Have dimensions and are like 'blueprints' to help in the fabrication of the product Non-dimensioned sketch Sketch produced in the earlier stages of the design process without any dimensions Huet et al. (2009) Chronologically Sketches arranged by date; numbered in a sequence or ordered by using arrows Type of view 2D showing front, side, top and end views or 3D showing isometric sketches or exploded view Subject Showing a component, a sub-assembly, a detailed part or a realistic assembly of the product M. Schembri et al. 4 as the 6 -3-5 method in which six designers generate three ideas which are passed around every five minutes , and the C - sketch method in which sketches are passed to the next designer to modify , add or delete aspects of the sketch in an agreed length of time , do not incorporate time for discussion ( Shah et al . 2001 ) . "
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    ABSTRACT: Product development is a collaborative activity more often than ever carried out by distributed design teams. It is critical to determine how sketches are used in such environments in order to improve the design process. Sketches produced by students participating in a collaborative design project of three European Universities are classified according to the intention of the designer when producing a sketch, the level of detail shown in the sketch and the phase when the sketch was produced. The adapted classification system used in this paper helps to analyse type of sketches with most variety of ideas. Furthermore, this paper reviews which type of sketches offers the most potential to be further developed. Results show that persuasive sketches offer the broadest range of ideas since they are produced as a combination of ideas from brainstorming sessions. Shared sketches help to achieve consensus in decision-making since the sketches are most likely to be produced by the entire group rather than individually.
    CoDesign 04/2015; 11(2). DOI:10.1080/15710882.2015.1054841
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    • "27) [24]. Some researchers consider the novelty of a generated concept to be indicative of the concept's quality [25]. Thus, work done by Shah and Vargas-Hernandez [1] explored the notion of novelty as a measure of the effectiveness of idea generation techniques in engineering design. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although design novelty is a critical area of research in engineering design, most research in this space has focused on understanding and developing formal idea generation methods instead of focusing on the impact of current design practices. This is problematic because formal techniques are often not adopted in industry due to the burdensome steps often included in these methods, which limit the practicality and adoption of these methods. This study seeks to understand the impact of product dissection, a design method widely utilized in academia and industry, on design novelty in order to produce recommendations for the use or alterations of this method for supporting novelty in design. To investigate the impact of dissection, a study was conducted with 76 engineering students who completed a team-based dissection of an electric toothbrush and then individually generated ideas. The relationships between involvement in the dissection activity, the product dissected, the novelty and quantity of the ideas developed were investigated. The results reveal that team members who were more involved in the dissection activity generated concepts that were more novel than those who did not. In addition, the type of the dissected product also had an influence on design novelty. Finally, a positive correlation between the number of ideas generated and the novelty of the design concepts was identified. The results from this study are used to provide recommendations for leveraging product dissection for enhancing novelty in engineering design education and practice.
    Journal of Mechanical Design 04/2014; 136(4-4):041004-041004. DOI:10.1115/1.4026151 · 1.25 Impact Factor
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