Bridging the gap between product design and product engineering
Faculty of Design Sciences
Barcelona :Artyplan Global Printers, 2008
New perspectives in design education : proceedings of the 10th engineering and product design education international conference, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain 4-5 september 2008. - Barcelona, 2008
Product engineering is a way of designing products by using engineering skills and methods. It is often taught as a combination of mechanical, electronic and software engineering with respect to products. Product design is a more human centred approach where products are often designed from an ergonomic and aesthetic point of view. Product development is an intermediate discipline. It combines the engineering skills with the human centred approach and relates the product with the global economical context. As a consequence product development is based on economic, human and applied sciences. Besides these disciplines a strong methodological framework is needed including what is called "methods and tools". The paper deals with the way the curriculum at the Higher Institute of Product Development in Antwerp, Belgium, evolves towards a new more integrated approach based on the strong points of product engineering. In the integrated approach the theoretical content is considered as a sufficient and necessary condition in order to proceed the studies. The main problem is to find a method on how to implement the integrated approach in the curriculum. The new implementation of the strength of materials course will be discussed. It will be shown that a new way of assimilation is possible and that students find the taught content very useful for the development of new products.