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Classic Rhetorical Pedagogy As A Model For Interdisciplinary Design/Engineering Instruction

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Writing and Communication I

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.308.1 - 9.308.6

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Paper Authors

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Richard Fry

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session Number: 1461

Classic Rhetorical Pedagogy as a Model for Interdisciplinary Design/Engineering Instruction.

Richard Fry IDSA/ITEA Assistant Professor, Industrial Design Program School of Technology Brigham Young University

Engineering, Industrial Design, and Business are three disciplines that work together in the world of product development. Power struggles exist over who is most important. Because of these struggles, ultimate success is often difficult to achieve. These struggles exist because of a general lack of understanding between each of the disciplines about how they relate to one another in a larger picture.

In the spirit of interdisciplinary product development, students in the College of Engineering and Technology at Brigham Young University participate in a “Capstone” experience that is meant to expose them to the comparative peculiarities of the three disciplines of Manufacturing, Engineering, and Industrial Design. Despite the success of various individual team projects, a general dissatisfaction exists in the ranks of the students about what the actual benefit is for all their collaborative effort.

Interdisciplinary Product Development efforts (both in and outside of industry) suffer from one sided biases based on the discipline of the sponsoring body. Engineering based programs neglect Business, Manufacturing, and Industrial Design. Business based programs neglect the needs Engineering and Manufacturing programs.

Successful product development teams realize that true success and innovation comes from the overlapping of the disciplines where they rely on each other for their individual strengths. This is the overlapping sweet spot - the “Nexus of Product Development.” (Figure 1)

However, most of the time, each discipline struggles to put for the argument that: 1. Their discipline carries the biggest burden 2. Their discipline addresses the issues that are most important to the consumer What is missing is a larger framework of understanding to show the interdependence of the three disciplines for success.

This paper will suggest how an understanding of classic rhetoric could provide the unifying framework for bringing together the disparate disciplines of Engineering, Industrial Design, and

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Fry, R. (2004, June), Classic Rhetorical Pedagogy As A Model For Interdisciplinary Design/Engineering Instruction Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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