UNDERSTANDING THE WORLDS OF DESIGN AND ENGINEERING – AN APPRAISAL OF MODELS
DS 68-2: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 2: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Reich, Y.
Author: Gudem, Martin; Boks, Casper; Welo, Torgeir
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology
Using product innovation models as reference, this study presents barriers preventing integration between the worlds of product design and engineering. Models illustrating workflow within both communities are compared, with the intention of revealing parallels and incompatibilities. Findings from research in design, cognitive theory, and innovation theory are then applied, seeking to explain why barriers exist. The study indicates a tendency in the design community towards seeing product development in a wider perspective, while engineers appear more concerned with technical detail. Furthermore, designers and engineers tend to have their own opinions about what design really is, what documentation forms are needed, how to tackle a problem, and why innovation models are needed. Seeking to develop mutual understanding, which is necessary for balancing ‘soft’ qualitative attributes and ‘hard’ performance requirements in product development, is challenging, since both groups possess limited capabilities in terms of recognizing or understanding what attributes are important to the other party.