Title: What affects design outcomes of conceptual design?

Authors: Prabir Sarkar; Amaresh Chakrabarti

Addresses: School of Mechanical, Materials and Energy Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, Room 307, Academic Block, Nangal Road, Rupnagar-140001, Punjab, India ' Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Abstract: Research has shown that during conceptual design, designers continuously search for potential design outcomes, consisting of problems, solutions, and evaluation criteria, in different design spaces. Both quality and quantity of these design outcomes are affected by various factors, such as, design method used, participating designers' ability, and design problems used. In this work, using the understanding of search of design spaces, we develop methods for assessing the effects of several factors, such as, individual ability, creativity method used, and problems solved, on the quality and quantity of design outcomes. We use design experiments to empirically identify the effects of these factors on the design outcomes. We observe that compared to ability of the participating designers and problem used, design methods strongly influence the design outcomes. Additionally, it is possible to predict the influences of designers on the design outcomes by understanding solution-generating profiles of designers in other experiments.

Keywords: search; exploration; individual ability; creativity methods; problems solved; engineering design; design methods; design outcomes; conceptual design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDE.2014.067075

International Journal of Design Engineering, 2014 Vol.5 No.4, pp.289 - 322

Received: 17 Nov 2013
Accepted: 12 Jun 2014

Published online: 22 Jan 2015 *

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