ORGANIC, BIONICS & BLOB DESIGN - CONCEPTUAL AND METHODOLOGICAL CLARIFICATION
DS82: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE15), Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise, Loughborough, UK, 03-04.09.2015
Editor: Guy Bingham, Darren Southee, John McCardle, Ahmed Kovacevic, Erik Bohemia, Brian Parkinson
Author: Dahl Thomsen, Bente
Institution: Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, Aalborg University – DK
Section: Pedagogical Practice
Industrial design is a young field of science that works together with many disciplines, borrows concepts and constructs metaphors for product characterization and phenomenon description. The meaning of the penetrative or constructed concepts is crystallized over time through academic writings and discussions. Organic, Bionics and Blob Design is an example of such a vague concept. Vague concepts create confusion when the concepts are used in academic texts and in course descriptions, which should be understandable across international research and by exchange students. This article discusses the Tripod approach as a possible method to clarify meaning and as an aid to students' development of a technical terminology. The concepts must be used in the same context, in this example the context is Natural Design, and represent different analytical angles on scientific issues. The three concepts of Organic, Bionics and Blob design meet these conditions to form the foundation for a Tripod Approach. The clarifying question in the discussion of meaning will circle around whether Nature Design poses a "paradigm" for industrial design, in which Organic, Bionics and Blob Design separately constitute "sub-paradigms". The citation marks indicate that this study looks at paradigms as practice fields rather than as research programs. The field for this study is set by a design engineer education with courses that cover the three design disciplines.