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A Method for Classifying Products Designed for the Developing World

[+] Author Affiliations
Paden M. Troxell, Charles Kim

Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Paper No. DETC2016-60522, pp. V02AT03A057; 10 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2A: 42nd Design Automation Conference
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5010-7
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Researchers in the area of design for the developing world have synthesized knowledge from location-specific product case studies in the form of design guidance, which includes pitfalls, principles, and methods. Much of the design guidance relates to specific product classes and regions, while recent work is directed towards generalized principles. The aim of this paper is to fill gaps in product class-specific design guidance by creating larger groups of similar products, which share design characteristics. In this paper, we present a method for classifying products into such groups utilizing cluster analysis. We present a five-step method, which includes optional synthesis of design principles. The potential value of the method is demonstrated in a case study. The result included two distinct product groups, titled Products for Relief and Products for Development, and corresponding design principles for each group.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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