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Design Education Across Disciplines: Opportunities for Curriculum Advancement

[+] Author Affiliations
Anthony A. Nix, Mark T. Lemke, Ryan M. Arlitt, Robert B. Stone

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Paper No. DETC2016-59767, pp. V003T04A011; 11 pages
  • ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 18th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 13th International Conference on Design Education; 9th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, August 21–24, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5013-8
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Design education is a large field. It is not just limited to engineering design but can also include apparel design, industrial design, graphic design, architecture, and many others. These disciplines instruct students to follow a similar design process to what is generally taught in engineering design. However, these other disciplines contain a variety of instructional techniques, class structures, and class types that are not regularly included in engineering design. While design engineers tend to get a background rich in math and science, instructing students in design can be difficult. Many of these math and science classes focus on one approach and one right answer. However, in design the answers tend to fall on a spectrum from unsatisfactory to varying levels of satisfactory to ideal and innovative solutions, all of which can be uncovered using widely varying design methods. Despite the rigidness of the mechanical engineering curriculum there are areas where the implementation of techniques used in the other design disciplines could be advantageous to help engineering design students improve students design skills, design process knowledge, and softer skills such as team communication. The research done in this paper examines how the curricula of design disciplines could influence the coursework of students focusing on the design area of mechanical engineering.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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