Enhancing the concept generation capability of novice engineering designers

DS 75-8: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.8: Design Education, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Leary, Martin John; Burvill, Colin; Field, Bruce
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: RMIT university, Australia; 2: Melbourne University, Australia; 3: Monash University, Australia
Page(s): 077-084
ISBN: 978-1-904670-51-3
ISSN:  2220-4334


The professional contribution of an engineer often includes the generation of design concepts in response to an identified need. Concept generation creativity has multiple measures of interest, including: fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration. Of these metrics, fluency measures the total number of concepts generated, and is of critical importance to an engineer’s capability for concept generation. This work reports on a program to enhance the fluency of the concept generation capability of novice engineering designers. The program involves a novel computer based, self-assessed method to capture in real time the fluency of a novice engineer in response to a design task. The outcomes of this work can be applied to assess the effectiveness of teaching on fluency, and can provide tailored feedback to students to identify and overcome scenarios that may have negative influence on concept generation fluency. The outcomes of this initial work suggest that simple methods with minimal teaching overhead can be used to enhance concept generation capabilities. These outcomes are being used to inform a more extensive research program.

Keywords: Creativity, design education, design learning


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