School Culture Through Praxis
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Vielhaber, Michael; Dohr, Fabio; Luedeke, Tobias
Institution: Saarland University, Germany
Section: Design Methods - People and Knowledge
From the beginnings of design methodology, the way how to teach and to learn engineering design has been controversially discussed. “School culture” and “shop culture” are terms representing this discussion, the first describing a more systematic view, the second describing a more problem-oriented “learning by doing” approach. This paper originates from German design education. It presents an attempt to bring both sides closer together by teaching “school culture” knowledge through practical experience. For this purpose, a practical course was set up to achieve “learning design methodology by doing”: Based on own practical design tasks, the students are guided to reflect their approach against a theoretical design methodology. As a result, this methodology is deeply inherited by the students, but also a basis is provided to rethink and potentially rework the theoretical framework, thereby helping to make it better suitable to and acceptable for engineering design practice, finally. Regarding the VDI 2221 design methodology, main findings concern the importance of the initial phases, the transition from functional to geometric design, the point of time when conceptual design decisions are made, and the level of maturity of conceptual ideas evaluated in the decision process.