The Importance of Prototyping for Education in Product Innovation Engineering

Year: 2011
Editor: Chakrabarti, A.
Author: Berglund,Anders; Grimheden,Martin
Section: Design Collaboration and Communication
Page(s): 737-745


Newsweek Magazine recently published a list of the ‘world’s best design programs’. The eye catching notion was the predominance towards active learning, and in particular the extensive use of prototyping in top design schools. This made us try to better understand why and in what way prototyping is important. In our previous research, we have been able to identify a number of important key factors enhancing innovation capability in design engineering programs. Among these key factors we have found prototyping as a means of increasing creativity, innovation and synthesis skills in product innovation engineering programs. This paper investigates prototyping functions as a means to building learning experiences by testing the beliefs of prototyping as a learning tool. The study reveals that an individual that collaborates integrates more of their colleagues’ input into their own subsequent concepts. Vice versa colleagues also appreciate a more useful feedback to their creative thinking and prototyping efforts. Strengthening how and why prototyping practices differentially affect results can influence engineering education and engineering design practices. Past prototyping research is redundant to show more than scarce pedagogical comparisons to cognitive levels. Thus, we show traces of evidence between prototyping features and pre-existing knowledge creating frameworks

Keywords: Prototyping, Engineering Education, Product Innovation.


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