Asee peer logo

A Symphony of Designiettes: Exploring the Boundaries of Design Thinking in Engineering Education

Download Paper |

Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

The Best of Design in Engineering

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

34

Page Numbers

25.112.1 - 25.112.34

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20872

Download Count

45

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Kristin L. Wood University of Texas, Austin

visit author page

Kristin L. Wood is currently a professor, Head of Pillar, and Co-director of the International Design Center (IDC) at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Wood completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering (Division of Engineering and Applied Science) at the California Institute of Technology, where he was an AT&T Bell Laboratories Ph.D. Scholar. Wood joined the faculty at the University of Texas in Sept. 1989 and established a computational and experimental laboratory for research in engineering design and manufacturing. He was a National Science Foundation Young Investigator, the Cullen Trust for Higher Education Endowed Professor in Engineering, and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas, Austin.

visit author page

biography

Rajesh Elara Mohan Singapore University of Technology and Design

visit author page

Mohan Rajesh Elara received a B.Eng. degree in electronics and communication engineering from the Bharathiar University, India in 2003 and the M.Sc. degree in consumer electronics from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in 2005. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in 2011. He was a Research Associate in the School of Electrical & Electronics Engineering in 2005-2006 and a lecturer in the School of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Singapore Polytechnic in 2006-2011. Since 2011, he has been with the Engineering Product Development Pillar, Singapore University of Technology and Design, where he is a lecturer. He is also a Visiting Associate Faculty at School of Science and Technology, Singapore Institute of Management University. His research interests are in service, rehabilitation, and assistive robotics, with emphasis on human robot interaction and problems related to control, navigation, and perception. He is now serving as the Chair of the RoboCup@Home league organizing committee for 2011-2012, where he was member of the technical committee in 2010-2011 and organizing committee 2009-2010. He has published more than 50 papers in journals, books, and conferences.

visit author page

author page

Sawako Kaijima Singapore University of Technology and Design

author page

Stylianos Dritsas Singapore University of Technology and Design

biography

Daniel D. Frey Massachusetts Institute of Technology

visit author page

Daniel D. Frey is an Associate Professor at MIT in the Mechanical Engineering Department and in the Engineering Systems Division. He conducts research on system design methods including robust design, design of experiments, and design decision making. He is currently serving as a Co-director of the Singapore-MIT International Design Center at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

visit author page

author page

Christina Kay White University of Texas, Austin

biography

Daniel D. Jensen U.S. Air Force Academy

visit author page

Dan Jensen is a professor of engineering mechanics at the U.S. Air Force Academy where he has been since 1997. He received his B.S. (mechanical engineering), M.S. (applied mechanics), and Ph.D. (aerospace engineering science) from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has worked for Texas Instruments, Lockheed Martin, NASA, University of the Pacific, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and MSC Software Corp. His research includes design of micro air vehicles, development of innovative design methodologies, and enhancement of engineering education. Jensen has authored approximately 100 papers and has been awarded more $2.5 million of research grants.

visit author page

biography

Richard H. Crawford University of Texas, Austin

visit author page

Richard H. Crawford is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas, Austin, and is the Temple Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow No. 3. He received his B.S.M.E. from Louisiana State University in 1982 and his M.S.M.E. in 1985 and Ph.D. in 1989, both from Purdue University. He joined the faculty of UT in Jan. 1990 and teaches mechanical engineering design and geometry modeling for design. Crawford's research interests span topics in computer-aided mechanical design and design theory and methodology, including research in computer representations to support conceptual design, design for manufacture and assembly, and design retrieval; developing computational representations and tools to support exploration of very complex engineering design spaces; research in solid freeform fabrication, including geometric processing, control, design tools, manufacturing applications; and design and development of energy harvesting systems. Crawford is co-founder of the DTEACh program, a Design Technology program for K-12, and is active on the faculty of the UTeachEngineering program that seeks to educate teachers of high school engineering.

visit author page

author page

Diana Moreno Singapore University of Technology and Design

biography

Kin-Leong Pey Singapore University of Technology and Design

visit author page

Kin-Leong Pey received his bachelor's of engineering (1989) and Ph.D (1994) in electrical engineering from the National University of Singapore. He has held various research positions in the Institute of Microelectronics, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Agilent Technologies, and National University of Singapore. Pey was the Dead of the Microelectronics Division at Nanyang Technological University before being invited recently to hold an Associate Provost appointment of the latest and fourth public-funded university, the Singapore University of Technology and Design. He also holds a concurrent in the Singapore-MIT Alliance (SMA).
Pey has published more than 170 international refereed publications, 175 technical papers at international meetings/conferences, and a book chapter, and holds 34 U.S. patents in areas related to nanoelectronics.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

A Symphony of Designiettes – Exploring the Boundaries of Design Thinking in Engineering Education AbstractDesign in engineering curricula typically entails solving open-ended problems by groups of students overa significant academic time period. These design experiences may include interdisciplinary teams. Theymay include clients and resources from industry. They may include a distinct focus on designmethodology and supporting techniques.Over the last two decades, a significant movement exists to create more design-centric, or at least project-based, learning approaches as part of engineering curricula. This movement recognizes the motivationalpotential of design as a context for learning engineering content, but typically focuses in many ways onthe longer-term and iterative aspects of design experiences. A complementary approach, however, is thedevelopment of designiettes within design courses, general engineering course activities, supportingfundamentals courses toward an engineering degree, integrated and coordinated design activities acrosssemester offerings, or outreach activities with the community or K-12 programs. But what is adesigniette?Designiettes, “design vignettes”, or “designettes1,” are glimpses, snapshots, small-scale, short turnaroundand well-scoped design problems, or mini design projects, providing a significant design experience,while requiring a minimal amount of time and resources. They are different than hands-on demonstrationsin that they ask the student to engage with an ill-defined problem. They are different than an experimentin that they ask students to investigate multiple potential solutions Designiettes may be scoped accordingto time and resource allocation. They may be apportioned to particular technological or project domains,they may be thematic, and they may focus on certain phases of the design process. Ideally designiettesinclude a need-based project or one that provides a connection to humanitarian issues or the 21st CenturyGrand Challenges. Ideally, designiettes include an innovation goal with the process steps of ideation,prototyping, and experimentation. Ideally, designiettes provide a meaningful experience that will remainindelibly in the long-term memory of the participants thus shaping the ways they see design in ourengineered world. Ideally, designiettes provide an educational experience that participants remember,relive with fond memories, and spark future calls to action through engineering design.Designiettes are rich opportunities for exploring and studying design, at least within a scaled scope andcontext. They provide opportunities to teach design from many different viewpoints and perspectives.They create opportunities to teach within a constructivist, social constructivist, active learning, interactivecollaboration, or hands-on environment. Indeed, they are hands-on, minds-on experiences. Designettesgenerate opportunities to excite diverse learners of all ages and all backgrounds about innovationprocesses through exploring the art and science of design.Designiettes are precursors to inventions. They are initial explorations. They are a means to test thewaters and experiment. Importantly, these are confidence-building moments that are much needed inattracting, engaging, and retaining students in engineering education. They produce heightened interest inSTEM programs for K - 12 students. They also reinvigorate engineering students during their difficultcore engineering science courses. Simply put, they are a means to have fun with design, making designaccessible to everyone and also empower those with the passion and talent for design. In this paper, we1 Designettes is a play off the activity known as a charrette. Charettes are typically associated with urban planning,land use planning, and architecture wherein an intensive collaborative effort of designers is devoted to quicklygenerate solutions to a design problem. 1explore the strategic development and use of designiettes. The possibilities for creating designiettes areendless and unbounded. Yet certain characteristics are perhaps needed: (1) a project with an innovationfocus; (2) a need-based, empowering, and motivating project; (3) opportunities to ideate, explore designvariables, explore the aesthetic, theme, or ergonomic features, or some combination; (4) prototyping ofideas, at least virtually as part of a simulation, or physically as a concept model; (5) relatively low-costmaterials for creating prototypes; (6) implementing technology, such as layer-based manufacturing/rapidprototyping equipment, for quickly transforming ideas into reality; and (7) forums to experiment with,test, or compete with generated designs. We provide thoughts and guidance on selecting and developingprojects that address these needs. We also present a literature review on small scale design project effortsas they relate to the concept of designiettes. This literature leads to a categorization of characteristics ofdesigniettes, the range of applications and resources, and the existing empirical data supporting their usein engineering curricula.Based on this literature review, we present forty-two (42) basic ideas for designiettes. These ideas areorganized according to the literature review categories and associated characteristics and learningobjectives.Three designiettes are then explored in more detail: (1) a competition-based skyscraper design andconstruction designiette; (2) a competition-based, exploratory designiette focusing on the analytical andexperimental parametric design of balsa and bass wood glider airplane; and (3) a needs-based mechanimaldesigniette focusing on experiencing a design process (ideation, concept selection, prototyping, andtesting) with robotics type technologies. These designiettes are intended to be integrated in a classroomenvironment in 45-60 minutes. Useful descriptions of the designiettes are provided, including theiterations required to development them for classroom-ready experiences and web URL references tomore complete versions and associated delivery details. Qualitative analyses of the designiettes arediscussed based on the implementation of these designiettes with 750 participants in an outreach programto students entering engineering programs, along with their siblings and parents ranging in age from six toseventy years old. Insights, guidelines, and heuristics are derived from this analysis, discussing thepotential long-term impact of designiettes across K-16 engineering curricula. 2

Wood, K. L., & Mohan, R. E., & Kaijima, S., & Dritsas, S., & Frey, D. D., & White, C. K., & Jensen, D. D., & Crawford, R. H., & Moreno, D., & Pey, K. (2012, June), A Symphony of Designiettes: Exploring the Boundaries of Design Thinking in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/20872

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015