Media and Representations in Product Design Education
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Maral Babapour, Viktor Hjort af Orn
Institution: Division Design & Human Factors, Department of Product and Production Development, Chalmers University of Technology
Section: Design Education Methods
The creation of product form, involves embodying a potential function and intended use while defining geometrical, ordering features. This paper aims to elaborate roles of different media and representations in design activities intended to externalise form ideas (e.g. sketching, building physical models, digital modelling, etc). To understand and explain the role of media in design activities, design diaries were analysed. These were documented as part of a master course in Advanced Form Design in spring terms 2011-2013. For course completion, the students were expected to work in groups on a project seeking creative form ideas and solutions for a dinnerware product with a high level of novelty, aesthetic detail, and functionality. Design diaries were used as an educational method for initiating and documenting self-reflections on a weekly basis. The paper discusses how different media may support design, but in some cases also constrains creativity and ability to work with three-dimensional form. Understanding and explaining this may help students and practitioners engage with, reflect on, and value the roles of media for externalising ideas.