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Innovations in Design Through Transformation: A Fundamental Study of tRaNsFoRmAtIoN Principles

[+] Author Affiliations
Vikramjit Singh, Stewart M. Skiles, Jarden E. Krager, Kristin L. Wood

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Dan Jensen, Andy Szmerekovsky

United States Air Force Academy, USAF Academy, CO

Paper No. DETC2006-99575, pp. 63-76; 14 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4a: 18th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 10–13, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4258-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3784-X
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The act of creating a new product, system or process is an innovation: the result of excogitation, study and experimentation. It’s an inductive and/or deductive process. The former is a process of studying systems that exist, for example, in nature, patents and products, and inducing from these system behavior and elemental features for innovating novel products. The latter is a process of deducing such aspects from hypothetical concepts and situations where systems or products could exist. Using a combined inductive and deductive approach, this paper reports on a methodology for the creation of innovative products with a much broader functional repertoire than traditional designs. This breed of innovative products possesses a broader functional repertoire by transforming into different configurations. Current design theory lacks a systematic methodology for the creation of products that have the ability to transform. This paper identifies analogies in nature, patents and products along with hypothesizing the existence of such products in different environments and situations. Transformation Design Principles are extracted by studying key design features and functional elements that make up a transforming product. These principles are listed, defined and categorized according to their roles in generic transformations. The principles and categorizations are then validated and applied to conceptualize a transforming product as an example of an innovative design.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME
Topics: Design



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