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Why we Prototype!: An International Comparison of the Linkage between Embedded Knowledge and Objective Learning
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Integrated Product Development.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2304-3148
Stanford University. (Center for Design Research)
2013 (English)In: Engineering Education, ISSN 1750-0044, E-ISSN 1750-0052, Vol. 8, no 1, 2-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Prototypes are made, presented, and interpreted differently by people according to theirunderstanding and frame of reference. Design educators have, in recent decades, comecloser to one another in how they approach design creativity. Still, many distinct differencesexist. One of the most striking has to do with the role of prototyping in developing ideasinto concrete manifestations. Prototypes unlock cognitive association mechanisms relatedto visualisation, prior experience, and interpersonal communication in ways that favouriterative learning between peers in the product development community. When, where, andhow to use prototyping strategies depends on context, and it demands a high level ofsituation awareness. The nature of this awareness is, in turn, dependent on culturalvariables and curriculum development. Prototyping has been portrayed as an excellentactivity to share inner thoughts, yet a deeper connection to its knowledge-buildingprocesses has been lacking in previous research. This paper builds on related literature inshaping a common understanding of how prototyping is perceived and applied in twodifferent high-performance academic contexts (Stanford University, Stanford, USA, and theKTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden). Our exploration focuses onstudents’ perceived learning experiences and on teachers’ experiences within engineeringdesign projects. Prototyping is an active enabler in both cases, establishing iterative loopsof new knowledge through social interaction and team-based communication. The deeperlevel of cognitive attachments to prototyping provides an explicit link between embeddedimplicit knowledge and its consequences for objective learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2013. Vol. 8, no 1, 2-15 p.
Keyword [en]
prototyping, engineering design, knowledge, learning
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-143336DOI: 10.11120/ened.2013.00004ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84897842992OAI: diva2:706268

QC 20140520

Available from: 2014-03-19 Created: 2014-03-19 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved

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