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Papers

Forming a Mindset: Design Students' Preconceptions about the Usefulness of Systematic Methods

Forming a Mindset: Design Students' Preconceptions about the Usefulness of Systematic Methods

Year: 2012

Section: Design Methods

Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen

Author: Oscar Person (1), Jaap Daalhuizen (2), Valentin Gattol (2)

Series: E&PDE

Institution: 1: Aalto University, Finland / Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands; 2: Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands

Section: Design Methods

Pages: 028-032

ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0

Abstract

Teaching students to use systematic design methods effectively is not straightforward. While method teaching often focuses on the procedural aspects of method usage (e.g., what steps to take and in what order), effectively using a systematic method entails more than following its ‘instructions’. As noted by Andreasen [1], students need to be equipped with a proper method mindset in order to use methods effectively. A mindset represents a mental framework that supports designers in using methods. To this end, Andreasen recognizes that a mindset encompasses at least knowledge about a method and its use. Yet, learning to use a new method requires more than just prior knowledge about it. In order to use it effectively, students also need to develop a preference for working with a method (or certain type of methods). In this paper, we investigate how knowledge and preference affect method usage. Drawing on a survey among 305 industrial design engineering students, we study how prior knowledge and preference for systematic methods affect their use in five different basic design activities. For four of the activities, we show that preference mediated the effect of knowledge on method usage. For one activity (analysis), we unveil a complementary mediation effect for the knowledge–usage relationship. Our results support Andreasen’s proposition of a method mindset. They also extend Andreasen’s initial ideas about the underlying elements of a method mindset by underscoring the role preference holds in facilitating method usage.

Keywords: Design methods, mindset, design education

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ds conferenceE&PDE 2012: 14th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education

E&PDE 2012: 14th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design EducationThe 14th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE2012) will take place at the Department of Design Sciences, Product Development, Artesis University College Antwerp, 6-7 September 2012 with the theme "Design Education for Future Wellbeing". The conference is a unique opportunity for educators, practitioners, researchers and student in design-related areas to meet and exchange experiences in design education and future wellbeing. Artesis University College is...

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Special Interest Group (SIG)Design Education

Design EducationTo bring together academics, designers, training professionals and others throughout the world who have an interest in design education at the tertiary level....

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Keywords
Design 2010