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 (Adler & Davis, 2007; Purcell & Gero, 1998; Song & Agogino, 2004; Yang, 2009). While each of these media is important, sketching is suggested to be the most important for ideation (Linsey et al., 2011; McKoy et al., 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper explores improving sketching skills and reducing the inhibition to sketch for student designers. In the first study, students were taught sketching skills through an in-class workshop. The effect was evaluated using a pre-mid-post test (n=40). In the second study, students were led through art activities to reduce their inhibition to sketch. The effect was tested using another pre-mid-post test (n=26). The first study found sketching skills increased, but declined with disuse. The second study found reduced inhibition immediately after the workshop, an increase after the sketch skills workshop, and a decrease over the semester. This suggests that sketch training and inhibition-reducing exercises are effective in the short term, but must be emphasized over time for a permanent change.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016 · Design Studies
    • "In group idea generation meetings, it remains a common practice to combine sketches with text or written language (Van der Lugt, 2005). Various studies have been completed regarding the role of sketching in design and conclude that sketching during idea generation improves the overall quality and realism of the design (Macomber & Yang, 2011;Yang, 2009;Yang & Cham, 2007). Even with a decline in the use of sketching among engineering students, sketching offers several advantages over other representations (Westmoreland et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Representations in engineering design can be hand sketches, photographs, CAD, functional models, physical models, or text. Using representations allows engineers to gain a clearer picture of how a design works. We present an experiment that compares the influence of representations on fixation and creativity. This experiment presents designers with an example solution represented as a function tree and a sketch, we compare how these different external representations influence design fixation as they complete a design task. Results show that function trees do not cause fixation to ideas compared to a control group, and that function trees reduce fixation when compared to sketches. Results from this experiment show that function tree representations offer advantages for reducing fixation during idea generation.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Design Studies
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · CoDesign
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