Bridging the discrepancy between reflective practice and systematic form generation approaches

DS 76: Proceedings of E&PDE 2013, the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Ireland, 05-06.09.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Babapour, Maral; Rahe, Ulrike 
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Chalmers University of Technolgy, Sweden
Section: Reflection
Page(s): 778-783
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


Systematic form development frameworks help the students and designers to broaden their form repertoire. Nevertheless, when they are encouraged in classroom activities, several aspects must be considered. For example, over-reliance on them limits the students’ ability to reflect on the process and actively look for alternative ways of finding solutions. This paper presents a classroom experiment that encouraged adopting a systematic yet reflective approach for developing product form alternatives. In a Master course (7,5 ECTS) in Advanced Form Design, twelve student teams, first introduced to the theoretical framework, were asked to find their own approaches for applying the theory on a product form design assignment. This paper reports on the general structure of students’ different interpretations for the form generation process, and discusses its contribution to the overall learning experience. An overall description of the assignment as well as a conclusive summary of the produced results is presented here. Further, an exemplifying case will be used to demonstrate the great form variety in the results of the assignments. The outcomes of the course put to proof that there is a need to encourage reflection-on-action when applying systematic form design theory.

Keywords: Form development methods, form generation, form repertoire, creative form design, reflection-on-action, design education


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