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Investigating Engineering Students’ Consideration of People During Concept Generation

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Empathy and Human-centered Design 1

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37392

Download Count

91

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Paper Authors

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Laura R. Murphy University of Michigan

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Laura is a PhD student in Design Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her work explores ways to make design processes more empathetic and inclusive so that design outcomes across industries are more inclusive. Her background is in disability design, manufacturing and supply chain, and front-end design research.

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Shanna R. Daly University of Michigan Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4698-2973

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Shanna Daly is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. She has a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University. Her research characterizes front-end design practices across the student to practitioner continuum and studies the impact of developed front-end design tools on design success.

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Thanina Makhlouf University of Michigan

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Eytan Adar

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Eytan Adar is an Associate Professor in the School of Information and in Computer Science & Engineering. His research is at the intersection of human computer interaction (HCI), visualization, and large-scale data mining of human behavior. Professor Adar received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Washington. He worked at Xerox PARC and HP Labs as well as helping launch a startup on personalized search.

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Sophia Brueckner University of Michigan

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Sophia Brueckner is a futurist artist/designer/engineer. Inseparable from computers since the age of two, she believes she is a cyborg. As an engineer at Google, she designed and built products used by millions. At RISD and the MIT Media Lab, she researched the simultaneously empowering and controlling nature of technology with a focus on haptics and social interfaces. Her work has been featured internationally by Artforum, SIGGRAPH, The Atlantic, Wired, the Peabody Essex Museum, Portugal’s National Museum of Contemporary Art, and more. Brueckner is the founder and creative director of Tomorrownaut, a creative studio focusing on speculative futures and sci-fi-inspired prototypes. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Nokia Bell Labs and an assistant professor at the University of Michigan teaching Sci-Fi Prototyping, a course combining sci-fi, prototyping, and ethics. Her ongoing objective is to combine her background in art, design, and engineering to inspire a more positive future.

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Colleen M. Seifert University of Michigan

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Colleen M. Seifert is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in psychology at Yale University. She was an ASEE postdoctoral fellow at the University of California – San Diego and the Navy Personnel Research Development Center. Her research interests center on learning, memory, and creativity.

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Abstract

Does the act of representing people in sketches change the way students consider people in design? We asked five senior-level mechanical engineering students to generate concepts for a design problem. As students generated concepts, they used a think-aloud protocol to talk through their design processes. In the first session, students generated ideas according to their natural concept generation style. In a second session, we asked them to include representations of “people, a person, or parts of a person” in their sketches while generating concepts. We identified five aspects of representing people appearing in sketches: multiple users, body depictions, physical integration, emotional expressions, and communication. In transcriptions of the think-aloud process, we analyzed the level of abstraction and word choice when students talked about people in their designs. Our findings indicate that students showed multiple signs of thinking more deeply about their potential users and the users’ context when using representations of people in their designs. Asking students to represent people in sketches may serve as a simple intervention that instructors can implement to help students think about people when stakeholders are not present during human-centered design.

Murphy, L. R., & Daly, S. R., & Makhlouf, T., & Adar, E., & Brueckner, S., & Seifert, C. M. (2021, July), Investigating Engineering Students’ Consideration of People During Concept Generation Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37392

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