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Art Meets Engineering Design: An Approach for Reducing Sketch Inhibition in Engineers During the Design Process

[+] Author Affiliations
Joran W. Booth, Abhinav K. Bhasin, Karthik Ramani

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Paper No. DETC2014-35278, pp. V003T04A013; 12 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 16th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 11th International Conference on Design Education; 7th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4634-6
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


While much prior work has been done regarding sketching and its impact on design and a few on how to train engineers to sketch, there have been no prior studies in engineering to reduce inhibition to frequent sketching. This paper describes a sketching intervention developed from art teaching aimed at reducing inhibition to sketching and a study to evaluate its effectiveness. In the study, students (n = 55) were tested with pre-mid-post assessments consisting of a mechanical, organic, and design-oriented sketching task and a TLX survey measuring the level of difficulty. The study found that the students overwhelmingly reported their inhibition was lowered, but the short-term TLX data suggested inhibition was higher. However, the TLX data showed a longterm decrease in inhibition-related measures, perhaps suggesting that long-term encouragement to sketch is effective in reducing inhibition to sketch. These results tentatively suggest that sketch inhibition is reduced by actively promoting creativity and sketching, some use of the activities presented here, and by deemphasizing the importance of higher-level skills such as perspective drawing.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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