Measuring differing approaches in design between engineering disciplines.

Kuys, Blair and de Vere, Ian (2010) Measuring differing approaches in design between engineering disciplines. In: ConnectED 2010, 2nd International Conference on Design Education, 28 June - 1 July 2010, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

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Product design is a unique subject offered to engineering students at Swinburne University of Technology. Design and engineering lecturers have collaborated to develop a program that gives greater integration of design into engineering curricula. The subject’s intentions are to develop: • an understanding of the product design cycle, • appreciation of design principles in engineering, • the ability to creatively design quality products for a sustainable environment. This elective subject available to final year Mechanical Engineering (ME) students, Robotic Engineering (RE) students and Product Design Engineering (PDE) students aims to develop understanding of both the creative and analytical approaches to design. The diverse student cohort afforded the opportunity for design lecturers to directly compare engineering students from different courses and compare their responses to design tasks. This was of particular interest as some of the students were from the product design engineering course which integrates industrial design and mechanical engineering curricula. The subject challenges the students through two design projects; one an open-ended or ‘wicked’ problem and the other with a tightly constrained brief. Responses to these briefs differ significantly between the engineering disciplines and this paper highlights the initial findings. The results of this ongoing comparative evaluation (whilst in its early stages) appear to support the need for greater emphasis on design and creative activity in engineering curricula. The challenge in teaching an industrial design approach to engineering is promoting creativity in the final year of the students engineering degree. Visual examples of student outcomes demonstrate the benefits, difficulties, revelations and accomplishments of teaching the fundamental elements of design to engineers. These vast differences between students of differing disciplines reinforce the importance/benefits of multi-disciplinary studies and are discussed within this paper.

Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W240 Industrial/Product Design
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Design
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ID Code:54225
Deposited On:18 Apr 2023 15:56

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