Prototyping to Learn: Characterizing Engineering Students’ Prototyping Activities and Prototypes
DS 58-1: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 1, Design Processes, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Lande, Micah; Leifer, Larry
Section: Design Processes
Prototyping is an activity core to designing and engineering, though an activity that has traditionally been under examined. Through observations of students' prototyping activities during a year-long design engineering project-based learning course, this paper hopes to better characterize the types of prototypes student engineers make in the course of their designing and to better understand how prototypes aid in their learning to be better designers. Common prototyping techniques are divided into categories of design thinking prototypes and engineering thinking prototypes. Student reflections are used to explore some emergent themes about their use of prototypes.
Keywords: Prototyping, Engineering Design, Design Learning, Design and Engineering Thinking