Impact of prototyping resource environments on idea generation in product design
Author(s)Schlecht, Lisa (Lisa Anne)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Maria C. Yang.
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Some of the world's most challenging problems will require distributed innovation capacity in order to create high-quality and sustainable solutions. However, access to prototyping resources varies and design strategies that are optimal in one context may be suboptimal in another. As the engineering practice is becoming increasingly globalized and R&D laboratories in universities and firms around the world try to maximize innovation with a limited set of resources, there is a need for greater understanding of the impact of prototyping resource environments on product design in universities. This knowledge will allow for the creation of more efficient innovation systems and help to foster more adaptable engineers. In order to explore the relationship between available resources for prototyping and idea generation during the design process, multiple embedded case studies were conducted with engineering students and professors at two university campuses in Mexico. In a design experiment, students developed sketches for products that would satisfy an open-ended design problem in a constrained-resource setting, where the variables were the timing of when information about these constraints was revealed, and the regular prototyping environment of the student. The outcomes were evaluated by comparing metrics such as the quantity, novelty, appropriateness, technical feasibility and marketability of the concepts. The evidence suggests that the timing of constraints can have an impact on the design outcomes, but that this effect varies depending on the designer's regular prototyping environment. The implications of these findings for engineers, educators, and policymakers working in any setting are discussed.
Thesis (S.M. in Technology and Policy)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, Technology and Policy Program; and, (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 97-104).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division; Technology and Policy Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division., Technology and Policy Program., Mechanical Engineering.