Development of the Material Selection Practice in the Design Education – A Study Exploring Articulation of Material Requirements

DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Hasling, Karen Marie; Lenau, Torben
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1Design School Kolding, Denmark; 2Technical University of Denmark
Section: Design Education in Practice
Page(s): 396-401
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


This paper explores how the material selection matrix is used in a materials and sustainability course. The matrix encourages the students to articulate material selection requirements to become more competent in exploring new materials and selecting materials for a given design task. The study indicates that students focus on technical requirements when using the matrix and justifying their selection of materials. This is surprising since the students attend an arts and crafts oriented design school and are encouraged and guided to consider non-technical requirements, as part of the course where the matrix is introduced. A possible reason for the undesired behaviour could be that students are allowed very freely to define their own matrices, having only little guidance to which requirements to use. A more formal procedure for making the material matrices is therefore proposed. The procedure requires students to use a fixed number of technical, experiential and sustainability oriented requirements.

Keywords: Material education, material selection methods, material requirements, applied learning


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