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A first sketch of Computer Aided Ideation: Exploring CAD tools as externalization media in design ideation
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Machine Design. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1631-5114
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Even though Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools have changed the way designers work in most parts of the design process, designers still mostly use pen-and-paper sketching when generating design ideas. Previous studies exploring the use of CAD tools for design ideation have concluded that the tools available at the time did not support reflective conversation, serendipitous interpretation and creativity, making them unsuited for design ideation. However, many of these studies used tools now considered obsolete, implying that the conclusions might no longer be valid. With the variety and capabilities of current CAD tools, there is an opportunity for a new exploration of CAD tools in design ideation.

The aim of this licentiate thesis was to explore the use of CAD tools as externalization media in design ideation, what effect this has on the ideation process and how CAD tools might support design ideation. To this end, the thesis explored the use of CAD tools in design ideation in four studies. The first study consisted of a literature review on the strengths and weaknesses of sketches and CAD tools and a focus group discussion with three design experts. The second study compared master theses to explore how design representations used in the design process affect the breadth of design space exploration. The third study was a case study with two cases featuring the use of game engines and Virtual Reality for automotive lighting design and the fourth study compared the workflow in VR-sketching and pen-and- paper sketching.

The results of the studies in this thesis suggest that the notion that CAD tools are not useful for design ideation is no longer true. Based on expert evaluations and case studies, this thesis concludes that there are several opportunities for the use of CAD tools in design ideation. This is certainly true in design fields where it is difficult to make sketches. The potential strengths of using CAD tools for design ideation includes the ability to design in full scale and the ability to perform instantaneous transform operations, such as scaling and deforming. However, the ability to instantly undo in CAD tools has been identified as both a potential strength and potential a weakness for design ideation. While being able to rapidly undo mistakes could be beneficial to the ideation process, achieving a faster workflow with less time redoing and more time working on creating, this might also result in fewer opportunities for reinterpretation.

The conclusions in this thesis provide arguments for the use of CAD tools in design ideation, which could lead to new ways of generating, working with and thinking about design ideas. The findings also act as a stepping stone for further studies in the area of Computer Aided Ideation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2019. , p. 60
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Licentiate Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1859
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-162022DOI: 10.3384/lic.diva-162022ISBN: 9789179299491 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-162022DiVA, id: diva2:1370797
Presentation
2019-11-19, DESI, A Building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-11-18 Created: 2019-11-18 Last updated: 2019-12-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Ah, I see what you didn't mean
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ah, I see what you didn't mean
2019 (English)In: Design journal, ISSN 1460-6925, E-ISSN 1756-3062, Vol. 22, p. 1883-1897Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is often claimed that Computer Aided Design ( CAD) tools are unsuitable for design ideation as they are said to not support serendipitous interpretation, playfulness and creativity. However, this notion is based on anecdotal evidence and research that was done using CAD tools now considered obsolete. This study therefore aims to provide insights on the use of currently available CAD tools for design ideation. This was done by having three experts evaluate the use of pen- and- paper sketches and four different CAD tools for design ideation and discuss the results. The results from this study suggest that CAD tools have the potential to support serendipity and provide an environment for creativity and playfulness. There are several opportunities for the use of CAD tools in design ideation. This is certainly true in design fields where it is notoriously hard to make sketches, such as in lighting design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2019
Keywords
Creativity; ambiguity; serendipity; happy accidents; re-interpretation
National Category
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-158597 (URN)10.1080/14606925.2019.1595031 (DOI)000470072200129 ()
Conference
12th International Conference of the European-Academy-of-Design (EAD) - Running with Scissors
Available from: 2019-07-03 Created: 2019-07-03 Last updated: 2019-11-18
2. In search of lost materiality; the case for physical modelling in Industrial Design Engineering education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In search of lost materiality; the case for physical modelling in Industrial Design Engineering education
2018 (English)In: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August / [ed] Philip Ekströmer, Johan Ölvander and Simon Schütte, 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Over the recent years, Industrial Design Engineering students at Linköping University have

frequently been observed to go directly from sketches into CAD, without making simple sketch

models for evaluation in the early stages of their design process. This workflow gives them less

information in their decision-making process and they lose the materiality of physical models,

which is an aspect that many designers and researchers consider crucial for the development of

form. This discussion paper explores whether this is an increasing trend and if so how it affects

the breadth of design space exploration. In total, 25 master theses, covering a period of nine

years, on Design and Product Development from Linköping University have been analysed.

The design representations used and the diversity of the ideas across the product development

process were visualized in graphs. This mapping supports our preliminary observation that the

use of physical models is declining and suggests this decline correlates to a narrower

exploration of the design space.

Keywords
Education, ideation, materiality, low fidelity prototypes, creativity
National Category
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-153120 (URN)978-91-7685-185-2 (ISBN)
Conference
Norddesign 2018
Available from: 2018-11-28 Created: 2018-11-28 Last updated: 2019-11-18
3. Shedding Light on Game Engines and Virtual Reality for Design Ideation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Shedding Light on Game Engines and Virtual Reality for Design Ideation
2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the Design Society: International Conference on Engineering Design, Cambridge University Press , 2019, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 2003-2010Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

While pen-and-paper sketches is generally considered the best tool for design ideation, there are certain areas of design where the ideas being generated do not easily lend themselves to sketching. This study reports on two cases that explores the use of game engines in combination with Virtual Reality (VR) to visualize lighting in the automotive industry. In the first case, the exterior lights of a car were visualized using Unreal Engine 4 and evaluated using research through design and expert interviews. In the second case, Unreal Engine VR Editor was used to explore ideation and concept development of interior lighting in long haulage trucks. The insights from the cases suggest that game engines and VR can be used to quickly develop and display ideas, concepts and scenarios in the early phases of the lighting design process. These strengths suggest that game engines and VR also have the potential to support design ideation for other types of design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2019
Keywords
Unreal Engine, Conceptual design, Product modelling/models, Creativity
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-162023 (URN)10.1017/dsi.2019.206 (DOI)
Conference
International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED19, 5-8 August 2019, elft, The Netherlands
Available from: 2019-11-18 Created: 2019-11-18 Last updated: 2019-11-18

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