Design Society White Paper No. 1/2012 Engineering Design Research
Results of a Workshop on Directions for Engineering Design Research Organized by the Advisory Board of The Design Society
The challenges facing our world are quite substantial. Engineers have a key role to play in designing solutions. Current design practices must be continuously improved if they are to support the effective and timely development of such needed solutions. The purpose of this document is to define a set of research directions for the field of engineering design that will lead to our achieving the capabilities needed to address the challenges that we face. The content for the document was generated at a workshop organized by the Advisory Board of the Design Society. In attendance were members of the Design Society Board of Management and Advisory Board and leaders of the Design Society Special Interest Groups. Their names are listed in Appendix 2. The workshop participants identified three desired future states for the field of engineering design. To enable these states, they defined five domains for future research. A representative set of research areas within each domain was selected, and for each area an associated group of research topics was generated. The groups are intended to be representative but not necessarily complete.
Members of the Design Society have a long-standing tradition of addressing issues associated with current and future directions of the field of engineering design research. Examples include work by Finger & Dixon (1989a,b), Wallace (1997), Blessing (2002), Horvath (2004), McMahon (2006), Andreasen (2010), and Birkhofer (2011). While the content of this document is based on the results of the Design Society’s 2011 workshop, earlier related contributions were consulted in preparation for the workshop and in writing this document.