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Advances in Transformational Design: Correlating Context Evaluation to Quality Feasibility and Novelty

[+] Author Affiliations
Bradley Camburn, Kristin Wood, Richard Crawford

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Jeremy Robbens, Dan Jensen, Aadit Patel

United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

Paper No. DETC2012-71416, pp. 447-460; 14 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 9th International Conference on Design Education; 24th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4506-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


In response to the call for multi-functional products, we have developed several relevant ideation techniques. These techniques are tailored for design of transformers — devices with multiple functional states. In this paper, we present significant advancements in transformational design. Primarily, we introduce a method to enhance quality, novelty, and feasibility (QNF) of design solutions. The method is used to classify design problem context and suggest pursuit of one of the two following device archetypes, transformer or monomorph — devices with a single functional state. The Indicators method is associated with a significantly increased probability of producing a design problem solution with higher QNF than a control (standard) design method. The claim that this method is accurate, its results are repeatable, and usage thereof enhances QNF is supported by a network of experiments and analyses. Statistical analysis is used to establish the accuracy, precision and repeatability of the method. Industry-standard qualitative methods, including inter-rater reliability analysis, demonstrate that usage of the Indicators method enhances design concept QNF. Concurrent minor analyses highlight the novelty of transformable designs; and some positive psychological effects of using the method. Additionally, the contextual (archetype) indicators have shown implicit promise as a core element for future research into ideation methods.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Design



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