An educational method for enhancing the ability to design innovative products

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Yamada, Kaori (1); Tsumaya, Akira (1); Taura, Toshiharu (1); Shimada, Kenji (2); Kaihara, Toshiya (1); Yokokohji, Yasuyoshi (1); Sato, Ryuta (1)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Kobe University, Japan; 2: Carnegie Mellon University, United States
Section: Design Education
Page(s): 049-058
ISBN: 978-1-904670-97-1
ISSN: 2220-4342


In the modern era, what we produce is important, and synthetic design thinking is strongly needed to create innovative products that bring qualitative changes to users’ lifestyles. This paper proposes an educational method for creative design that can enhance a person’s ability to generate a new concept of ground-breaking products that are not merely extensions of existing ones. This approach is unique due to its process, which starts with a person coming up with a concept based on ‘intuitive synthesis’ in which the metaphor of a ‘product like a living thing’ is instinctively created; then, details are confirmed by ‘analyzing and investigating’ the concept’s characteristics, followed by a ‘representation’ of the product and the scene in which it will be employed using a virtual reality device. Based on this educational method, the International Design Engineering School was carried out in 2016. Students enthusiastically joined this program, and their design outcomes were found not to be improvements of existing products, but rather, were pioneering previously non-existent products.

Keywords: Creativity, Design education, Innovation, Intuitive synthesis, Virtual reality

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