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Design Science Journal
Papers

Flowchart-Assisted Function Analysis of Products to Support Teaching of the Exact Sciences

Flowchart-Assisted Function Analysis of Products to Support Teaching of the Exact Sciences

Year: 2009

Section: Design Education and Lifelong Learning

Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.

Author: van der Vegte, Wilhelm Frederik; van Breemen, Ernest J. J.

Section: Design Education and Lifelong Learning

Pages: 101-112

Abstract

To reintroduce function analysis (FA) into the curriculum of Industrial Design Engineering, we developed a systematic approach for interaction-intensive products. By strengthening the link between high-level design considerations and exact-science-based engineering calculations, we intended to overcome the lack of commitment of our students to the exact sciences. We found that conventional FA approaches are difficult to apply to products interacting with users, while the user-oriented approaches that have come to replace FA in our curriculum hardly connect to engineering aspects. The new approach involves a procedure to extract functions from the process tree that is commonly used in design projects, and which allows mapping of transformations performed by the user to functions of the product. Putting functions on a gradual scale from "good" to "bad" gives directions for reconsideration. The approach is "open" and allows combining with related other methods. It was embedded into a new engineering-oriented course. Evaluation showed that the new course succeeds in more effectively communicating the relevance of exact sciences. Future plans include application in design projects.

Keywords: function analysis, interactive products, industrial design engineering, education

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ds conferenceICED09: 17th International Conference on Engineering Design

The Design Society and the Stanford Center for Design Research cordially invite you to participate in the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED'09. The venue will be Stanford University’s verdant campus in the heart of Silicon Valley, a short 35 miles south of San Francisco, California. Research papers and case studies are solicited on any topic related to design thinking, theory, and practice, with a premium placed on evidence-based research. Topics and Themes include: *...

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