ON THE FUNCTIONS OF PRODUCTS
DS 68-10: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 10: Design Methods and Tools pt. 2, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Dong, A.
Author: Aurisicchio, Marco; Eng, Nathan Lee; Ortiz Nicolas, Juan Carlos; Childs, Peter R.N.; Bracewell, Rob H.
Section: Design Methods and Tools Part 2
Understanding the performance and manner of functioning of existing products is at the base of new product development activities. In engineering design the term function is generally used to refer to the technical actions performed by a product. However, products accomplish a wider range of goals. This research has explored the opportunity to describe and model, through the concept of function, product actions across four dimensions including technical, aesthetic, social and economic. The research has demonstrated that non-technical functions can be represented through active verbs and nouns and modelled using a method known as the Function Analysis Diagram (FAD). The research argues that when technical, aesthetic, social and economic perspectives on product development are considered as different types of function, stakeholders have a common language to communicate which can benefit design collaboration.