Measuring the effectiveness of a design method to generate form alternatives : an experiment performed with freshmen students product development
Faculty of Design Sciences
Engineering sciences. Technology
Journal of engineering design. - Oxford
, p. 259-274
This article presents a hands-on method, targeted towards freshmen product development (or industrial design or engineering design), to create basic form alternatives. The hypothesis that the knowledge and the application of a rational form-generation approach improve the ability to create more and more varied designs is verified by means of an experiment. In this experiment, the effectiveness of the initiated method was measured by comparing the results of a first design session (before initiation of the method) with the results of a second design session (after initiation). The outcome shows definite progress in the basic skills to generate form alternatives: after the initiation, subjects generate more proposals with more variation in surface composition. Parameters like the overall amount of design solutions and the evolution in the variation in surface composition were considered. The experiment indicates that the application of a method can enhance a design process and shows that an analytical and rational approach contributes to the basic skills in the study of form. The two-step manipulation method extends the repertory of possible tools and methods that a designer can implement to cope with the problems concerning the creation of form alternatives.