DEVELOPING A DRAWING CULTURE: NEW DIRECTIONS IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION
DS 68-8: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 8: Design Education, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Sketching is integral to the design process, as it allows reflection in action, enables ambiguity and abstraction, encourages the unexpected, externalises mental imagery, and provokes creativity though analogical reasoning and reinterpretation. The articulation of the concept facilitates a discussion not only with peers and clients, but more importantly with oneself in a reflective practicum. In the context of engineering practice, sketching serves multiple social and cognitive functions throughout all stages of the product design and development process. Fundamentally sketching is the ‘first language’ of all designers and it is apparent that the design process can be limited by one’s capacity to use drawing for cognitive exploration. It is therefore essential that development of drawing skills is integrated throughout engineering education. This paper discusses curriculum initiatives aimed at developing a drawing culture amongst product design engineering students. ‘SketchFest’ is a sketching and ideation program that augments existing drawing skills, introduces new techniques and promotes student awareness of the value of sketching in product design and development.