Essays on a novel framework for product development theory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Warren P. Seering.
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After calls for a common terminology to unify the highly distributed literature on engineering design, this thesis develops and presents an emergent framework for the novel description and reconceptualization of the standard product development (PD) process. We begin with a review of the literature on Set-Based Design (SBD), introducing a paradigm called Set- Based Thinking which unifies the SBD and affiliated literatures around common themes and influences. Motivated by a set-based perspective, we then establish the lexicon for a novel framework for PD. Using this lexicon to drive descriptions of PD, we gain new insights on the process, such as the relationship between function and form in early stage design and designers' reliance on articulating form in order to explore the functional space. These insights and others lead us to establish the Designer's Dilemma, which asserts that fixation is an inevitable consequence of exploring ideas in early stage design that cannot be avoided with current ideation techniques. In sum, this thesis articulates a framework which presents a fundamental reconceptualization of the front end of the PD process. We also identify future areas of work upon which the framework can be expanded to address latent research issues in the PD literature.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2015.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 109-116).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology