Methods and tools for supporting industrial design innovation

VIGANÒ, Roberto and CARULLI, Marina (2009). Methods and tools for supporting industrial design innovation. In: Undisciplined! Design Research Society Conference 2008, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, 16-19 July 2008.


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The introduction of information technology (IT) systems to support designers’ activities and data management have profoundly affected company structure and design organization. This evolution has brought the introduction of systematic methods, close to information tools skills and prerogatives, using computer management and data recovery skills as main design support. The use of the IT also improved information exchange among different work figures involved during product development process.

In this direction authors have intended to analyze the role and the implementation of systematic methods and tools within industrial designer area of the design process and their impact on the conceptual design phase in particular. Consequently, the research has been developed primarily in reference to design methods able to support the strict ideation stage of the Conceptual Design, that can be referred to two typologies: knowledge based and functional approaches. Subsequently authors have analyzed the information tools currently used during design process, as CAD systems, and some innovative, as Virtual and Augmented Reality tools, that can be used within industrial design area.

The result of the study has been a formalization of the course followed during idea conceptual phase in order to include and to arrange the design methods and tools analysed. The research proposes a structured view of a process of product conceptualization, usually considered as mainly heuristic, focusing on the integration of methods and tools to support project and its communication. In this area the research has highlighted industrial designer role characteristics during design process, changeable in reference of project development level, and also some important new questions have been identified about the interaction between industrial designers and the other design areas involved in the process. In this direction the study has highlighted the need to support knowledge exchange and recovery, introducing the possibility to extend the research to the whole process and integrate industrial design and engineering collaboration in a more effective way.

Conceptual design process, Systematic innovation, Knowledge management, Integration

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (-)
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2009
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 14:16

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