SketchFest: Emphasising sketching skills in engineering learning

de Vere, Ian, Melles, Gavin and Kapoor, Ajay (2012) SketchFest: Emphasising sketching skills in engineering learning. In: Design Education for Future Wellbeing, the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12), 06-07 September 2012, Antwerp, Belguim.

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SketchFest: Emphasising sketching skills in engineering learning.
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Sketching is often described as the first language of designers and it is a critical skill for engineers and
designers as it enables the multiple social and cognitive functions represented by drawing within
product design and development. Drawing acumen is considered by industry as a core and
indispensible skill in product design, highly efficient and free of the constraints imposed by sequential
and logic based digital processes. It enables abstraction, embraces ambiguity, facilitates exploration
and unexpected outcomes and provokes creativity through reflection and reinterpretation. It is
apparent that any lack of ability to use drawing for creative exploration, reflection or communication
can limit creativity, and constrain innovation and the efficiency of the design process.
However digital design processes (i.e. CAD) have significantly impacted on the sketching skills of
design and engineering students. The persuasiveness of screen-based outcomes has led a decline in
drawing skill acquisition to the detriment of both design creativity and design communication.
The resultant lack of sketching skills has impacted on students’ academic performance, their design
confidence and creativity and their future employment potential.
This paper describes SketchFest; a curricula initiative aimed at re-establishing drawing competency
amongst engineering students in direct response to industry expectations. This new curriculum
addresses industry concerns regarding graduate attributes through a targeted program that embeds
sketching skill development throughout the learning journey.

Keywords:Sketching, creativity, product design and development, engineering curricula
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
H Engineering > H150 Engineering Design
W Creative Arts and Design > W240 Industrial/Product Design
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Design
ID Code:53769
Deposited On:27 Mar 2023 15:37

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