June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Design in Engineering Education
26.208.1 - 26.208.14
Analogy Seeded Mind-Maps: A Simple and Quick Design-by-Analogy Method Recent research has investigated methods based on design-by-analogy meant to enhanceconcept generation. While some of these methods are promising, they can be cumbersome anddifficult to apply in the engineering classroom. This paper presents Analogy Seeded Mind-Maps,a new method to prompt generation of analogous solution principles drawn from multipleanalogical domains. The method begins with identifying a primary functional design requirementsuch as “eject part.” We then use this functional requirement “seed” to generate a WordTree,which is a graph of grammatically analogical synonyms. We randomly select a set of 10-15words from each WordTree list and use the resulting word list to populate the first-level nodes ofa mind-map, with the functional requirement seed as the central hub. The word list and resultingmind-map then serve as visual tools that are utilized during the concept generation process. Theeffectiveness of the tool in generating concepts was evaluated in a number of separate studiesutilizing student design teams working on a wide variety of projects in both a military academyand a large public research university setting. In our evaluation of the method, designers firstused the word list (10-15 words from WordTree) to individually generate solutions and thenperformed team concept generation using the analogically seeded mind-map. The total quantityof concepts and the number of unique concepts generated were measured. It was found that theAnalogy Seeded Mind-Map method allowed students to generate a large number of concepts in arelatively short amount of time with only brief introduction and explanation of the method.
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