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Teaching Design Ideation

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Research on Engineering Design Education

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1382.1 - 22.1382.22



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Paper Authors


Shanna R. Daly University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Shanna Daly is an Assistant Research Scientist in the College of Engineering. Her research focuses on design teaching and learning and strategies for innovation.

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James Loren Christian University of Michigan

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James Loren Christian is a senior in Mechanical Engineering and Art & Design at the University of Michigan.

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Seda Yilmaz Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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Colleen M. Seifert University of Michigan

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Richard Gonzalez University of Michigan

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Teaching Design IdeationAbstractA continuous challenge for engineering students is to generate creative designs. Many times,creative outcomes can be traced to idea generation; however, engineering students struggle togenerate multiple ideas (Cross, 2001) and become attached to first ideas, even when they realizethose ideas have serious flaws or challenges (Ball et al., 1994; Rowe, 1987; Ullman et al., 1988).Even when students suggest creative ideas, they do not use a specific strategy that can help themexplore the larger potential solution space, limiting their ability to suggest alternative creativesolutions.The challenge for engineering educators, on the other hand, is how to teach students creativity inengineering design courses. Based on advanced student and practitioner data from engineeringand industrial design, we developed design strategies to support diverse and creative conceptsduring initial idea generation for the design of products. We call these strategies “designheuristics,” because, once integrated into a designer’s ideation process, they serve as cognitiveshortcuts for creative, multiple, and diverse idea generation.In this study, we provided a brief educational session about the design heuristics toapproximately 100 students in an introductory engineering course, and analyzed their designconcepts as a result of heuristic use. This paper demonstrates example outcomes of thoseconcepts, along with a discussion of the creativity and diversity of their ideas, and a comparisonto some example concepts for the same design problem that were generated without the use ofheuristics.

Daly, S. R., & Christian, J. L., & Yilmaz, S., & Seifert, C. M., & Gonzalez, R. (2011, June), Teaching Design Ideation Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18507

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