June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Design in Engineering Education
15.917.1 - 15.917.13
Novice students’ difficulties and remedies with the conceptualization
phase of design
Concept generation is an important phase in design26, when designers start generating ideas and develop thoughts. Concept generation is closely related with creativity design as designers often come up with novel ideas in this stage25.Unfortunately, previous studies reveal that student designers have a difficult time in the concept generation stage 6, 18. It is found that students are struggling with coming up ideas and alternatives. However, as not much research is done on the detailed problems student designers meet in conceptualization stage, why concept generation is difficult for students is still not clear.
In this study, we try to fill this gap by exploring what specific difficulties students meet in concept generation stage and further probe what strategies students use to overcome these difficulties. The research questions guiding this study are: 1) What difficulties student designers meet in the concept generation stage 2 What strategies students use to cope with those difficulties, especially difficulty related with creativity?
What is design?
A number of studies have been done on how designers design. In general, research shows that design activity is different from typical scientific and scholarly activities. A distinct “designerly” form separates design from other activities7.
Lawson 23 compares the problem-solving strategies of designers with those of scientists and finds out that while scientists focus on “discovering the rules”, architect designers are more concerned with “achieving the desired results”. It is suggested that designers tend to be solution focused while scientists are problem focused. So the central feature of design activity is its “reliance on generating fairly quickly a satisfactory solution”7 (Chap1, p7)
It is also recognized that design problems are ill defined or ill-structured8, 33, 29 because design problems have underspecified or ambiguous goals, solutions and methods 29, 31. These uncertainties, not only bring constraints to design but also make design an open problem. Jonassen19 classifies design problem a unique type of problem and as the most complex and ill structured problem that encountered in practice. He points out that solving a design problem requires designers structure the
Pan, R. C., & Kuo, S., & Strobel, J. (2010, June), Novice Students' Difficulties And Remedies With The Conceptualization Phase Of Design Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16358
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