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How It Is Made Matters: Distinguishing Traits of Designs Created by Sketches, Prototypes, and CAD

[+] Author Affiliations
Geoff Tsai, Maria C. Yang

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. DETC2017-68403, pp. V007T06A037; 12 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 29th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Cleveland, Ohio, USA, August 6–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5821-9
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


In the early stages of design, designers may use a variety of tools to represent their ideas, including sketches, physical prototypes, and digital models. Prior research suggests that the choice of tool and design representation can influence user opinions of the concept. In this paper, we explore how aware designers and users are of the ways different design tools can influence a design. Specifically, we investigate the question “How is a design influenced by the tool used to create it?” Designs that had originally been created as either a sketch, foam prototype, or CAD model were sketched into a consistent visual style. Designers experienced with these tools exhibited a better-than-random likelihood of identifying the original tool used to create the design, despite viewing only the re-sketch. This suggests artifacts of a design tool persist in a design representation despite the design being translated from one medium to another.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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