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ASME Conference Presenter Attendance Policy and Archival Proceedings

2018;():V007T00A001. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-NS7.
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This online compilation of papers from the ASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE2018) represents the archival version of the Conference Proceedings. According to ASME’s conference presenter attendance policy, if a paper is not presented at the Conference by an author of the paper, the paper will not be published in the official archival Proceedings, which are registered with the Library of Congress and are submitted for abstracting and indexing. The paper also will not be published in The ASME Digital Collection and may not be cited as a published paper.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology: Creativity and Ideation

2018;():V007T06A001. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85401.

A suitable quality metric is essential to improving ideation effectiveness. Many proposed quality metrics struggle to adequately capture this critical, subjective concept in a reliable and efficient way. This paper shows our development and testing of a quality metric that is meaningful, repeatable, and efficient. This quality metric is a weighted sum of quality dimensions adapted from the literature. The weighting factors for each dimension are adjusted to the specific ideation problem, and we present here a systematic method to quickly determine these weightings by experimental means. We demonstrate repeatability of the quality metric through interrater reliability, we show meaningfulness by comparing with raters’ intuitive interpretation of quality, and we demonstrate efficiency in the rating process. These initial findings show the quality metric has great promise and merits additional testing and refinement in future work.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A002. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85406.

Companies need to employ new design methods and tools to remain competitive in today’s global economy. Design methods are used to help teams move through the different stages of the design process, such as during project scoping, concept generation, and concept selection. Concept generation design methods are meant to help teams generate diverse, novel, and creative potential solutions. However, most design methods are developed and refined based on studies with student teams. This limits our understanding of how professionals engage with design methods in practice. This is a case study exploring the design methods used by three companies during the early stages of new product development. These companies are from the consumer electronics, footwear, and medical devices industries, and each design team within the companies was tasked with developing a new physical end product. We identified that all three teams heavily relied on internal and external benchmarking and reverse engineering design methods as part of concept generation. Ultimately, the products they developed were all considered evolutionary, meaning that the final product was a slightly improved version of similar products already on the market. This contrasts revolutionary products, which can change or disrupt the current field in one or more ways. This research contributes to design theory and methodology through empirically studying how companies engage in the design process, identifying the methods employed by professionals, and raising new questions about design methods, especially translation to industry. This research also contributes to design education by identifying methods that professionals use in practice, which can translate to direct recommendations for improving project-based engineering design courses.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A003. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85470.

Assessing similarity between design ideas is an inherent part of many design evaluations to measure novelty. In such evaluation tasks, humans excel at making mental connections among diverse knowledge sets and scoring ideas on their uniqueness. However, their decisions on novelty are often subjective and difficult to explain. In this paper, we demonstrate a way to uncover human judgment of design idea similarity using two dimensional idea maps. We derive these maps by asking humans for simple similarity comparisons of the form “Is idea A more similar to idea B or to idea C?” We show that these maps give insight into the relationships between ideas and help understand the domain. We also propose that the novelty of ideas can be estimated by measuring how far items are on these maps. We demonstrate our methodology through the experimental evaluations on two datasets of colored polygons (known answer) and milk frothers (unknown answer) sketches. We show that these maps shed light on factors considered by raters in judging idea similarity. We also show how maps change when less data is available or false/noisy ratings are provided. This method provides a new direction of research into deriving ground truth novelty metrics by combining human judgments and computational methods.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A004. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85606.

Various interventions (i.e., methods and tools that guide design work) have been developed to support successful idea generation in a design process. Our previous research explored the impacts of three such design interventions: cognitive-style based teaming, problem framing, and design heuristics. In this work, we looked across these interventions to compare their effects on students’ design ideas. In particular, 966 design ideas collected from 152 undergraduate students in engineering and industrial design from two Midwestern universities were analyzed to investigate their quality with and without each design intervention. Statistically significant differences were observed for the teaming and problem framing interventions. This study has implications for design educators in how design interventions might be used to affect students’ design solutions.

Topics: Reflection , Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A005. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85670.

This work is motivated by finding alternative uses for retired wind-turbine blades, which have limited disposal options. Two reuse concept-generation activities (CGA) conducted in German universities revealed difficulties with the parts’ large scale and seeing beyond their original use. Existing methods, e.g., using functional analogy, are less applicable, since for safety reasons, these parts should not be reused in the same function.

Therefore, this work explores the use of visual similarity to support reuse-concept generation. A method was developed that 1) finds visually similar images (VSI) for wind-turbine-blade photos; and 2) derives potential-reuse concepts based on objects that are visually similar to wind-turbine blades in these images.

Comparing reuse concepts generated from the two methods, VSI produced fewer smaller-than-scale concepts than CGA. While other qualities like feasibility depend on the specific photo selected, this work provides a new framework to exploit visual similarity to find alternative uses. As demonstrated for wind-turbine blades, this method aids in generating alternative-use concepts, especially for large-scale objects.

Topics: Blades , Wind turbines
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A006. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85678.

Individual designers demonstrate different styles of ideation in conceptual design. These styles have been quantified and described primarily through protocol, think-aloud studies that examine a designer’s thought sequence during ideation. In this paper, we examine ideation style with an outcome-based approach, examining style on a continuum of rate of variety, or solution space exploration rate. We investigate the relationship between this exploration rate and creativity factors of quality and novelty using a quantitative study of problem-solving skills. We found a significant positive correlation between broad-search style and novelty and a significant positive correlation between detail-search style and quality of ideas. These correlations are in agreement with protocol studies found in literature. We also identified quantity of ideas as a possible confounding factor and discuss potential improvements to these types of studies.

Topics: Creativity
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A007. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85690.

While a large subset of work within the design research community has demonstrated that supportive stimuli (e.g., analogies) are a powerful assistive tool for designers, little is known about the cognitive processes enabling inspiration during design activity. To provide insight into this open question, a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment was developed to study design concept generation with and without support from inspirational stimuli (N = 21). The stimuli provided in this work were words given at varying levels of abstraction from the design problems and were meant to support cognitive processes similar to analogical reasoning. Results from this work demonstrate that inspirational stimuli of any kind (near or far from the problem space) improve the fluency of idea generation and illustrate the moments during ideation that such stimuli can be used as a supportive tool. Furthermore, neuroimaging data help to uncover distinct brain activation networks based upon reasoning with and without inspirational stimuli. We find that the successful application of inspirational stimuli during concept generation leads to a specific pattern of brain activation, which we term “inspired internal search.” Prior work by the authors has demonstrated an impasse-based activation network that is more prevalent in the absence of inspirational stimuli. Together, these brain activation networks provide insight into the differences between ideating with and without inspirational stimuli. Moreover these networks lend new meaning to what happens when a presented stimuli is too far from the design problem being solved.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A008. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85794.

Coming at the start of the design process, the information contained in design briefs influences the framing of the designer’s perspectives of the design problem and the creativity of the design outcomes. This study investigates four types of information in design briefs: quantitative requirements, a visual example (video), a physical example and contextual information. Creativity studies typically use a one-variable-at-a-time approach that cannot collect data on interaction effects, thus this study explores the use of a full factorial Design of Experiment to study both the main effects and the two-way interaction effects. Creativity is measured according to three metrics: novelty, appropriateness, and usability. The results suggest that providing no additional information in the design brief results in high novelty scores and low appropriateness and usability scores, the main effect of providing a video example results in high appropriateness and usability scores but low novelty scores, and physical-contextual briefs have reasonably high novelty and usability scores. Methodological limitations and suggestions for improvements are discussed extensively.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A009. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86037.

Design fixation is often thought of only as a limiting factor when a designer is generating ideas, but design fixation is defined only as ‘sometimes counter-productive’ indicating that there may be room for good fixation. In addition, design fixation is defined as a ‘blind adherence’, meaning that the designer does not know that they are limiting their idea set. Prior work in fixation has focused on how introducing designers to bad examples can cause a negative adherence to a limited set of ideas, while work in design by analogy has focused on how introducing a designer to the right idea can positively impact the creative output of idea generation. In addition, product dissection has been investigated as a way to inspire creative design with positive results. While researchers have investigated good examples for their positive impact on the creativity of generated ideas, little work has investigated how these good examples are having a positive impact. Therefore, this study aims to understand how exposing designers to different types of products through a product dissection activity impacts how designers are reusing parts in their ideation. In addition, this study investigates if these reuses are unconscious through the use of eye tracking equipment. The results show that reuse of parts is positively related to an individual’s creativity during idea generation. In addition, they show that there is no relationship between eye fixations and design fixation, indicating that reuse might not be unconscious. Overall, the results shed a positive light on reuse and design fixation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A010. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86065.

Although prior research has shown that information utilized during conceptual design plays a vital role in product success, there is no comprehensive framework for characterizing the types of knowledge used by designers, or the impact of information types on the development of successful ideas. As part of an ongoing effort to develop a Typological Framework of Design Information, this study focuses on understanding the impact of design reasoning using one dimension of information, effectual or causal information. Effectual reasoning refers to setting goals that are driven by the availability of resources that are available to the designer, which is in contrast with causal reasoning, which relies taking actions to achieve a predetermined goal by any means necessary. Since research on effectual and causal information in engineering design is relatively sparse, a controlled pilot study was conducted where students interacted with a web interface and addressed a design problem. Detailed observations of participants’ interactions with the design information and the creativity of design outcomes was investigated. These findings provide insights into the role that effectual information plays in design reasoning and contribute to an emerging Typological Framework of Design Information.

Topics: Design , Students
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A011. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86166.

There has been rising interest in confronting formal models of design with practical design methods, in order to understand better both and to explore how they can improve each other. In this article, we try to map the Radical Innovation Design (RID) methodology in Gero’s Function-Behavior-Structure (FBS) framework. We encounter difficulties in doing so, and propose new constructs extending the FBS framework to account for some processes in RID. For instance, FBS is extended to describe the early stages of RID, where usages are analyzed to identify the appropriate situations and problems on which to innovate. We present a short practical case study to illustrate the relevance of these concepts. Our findings join those of others who have investigated the use of FBS to illustrate innovative projects, where requirements are unclear. We propose perspectives for future research, notably pursuing this work with the situated FBS framework.

Topics: Design , Innovation
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A012. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86184.

Morphological charts are widely recognized tools in engineering design applications and research. However, a literature gap exists in instructing the representation and exploration of morphological charts. In this paper, an experiment is conducted to understand how morphological charts are explored and what impact functional arrangement has on it. The experiment consisted of two problem statements, each with five different functional arrangements: 1) Most to Least Important Function, 2) Least to Most Important Function, 3) Input to Output Function, 4) Output to Input Function, and 5) Random. Sixty-seven junior mechanical engineering students were provided a prepopulated morphological chart and asked to generate integrated design concepts. The generated concepts were analyzed to determine how frequently a given means is selected, how much of the chart is explored, what is the sequence of exploration, and finally the influence of function ordering on them. Experimental results indicate a tendency to focus more on the initial columns of the chart irrespective of functional order. Moreover, the Most-to-Least-Important functional order results in higher chances and uniformity of design space exploration.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A013. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86263.

This study aims to provide a systematic framework to apply emulation tools that could help designers to experience an extraordinary user perspective (users with some form of physical or cognitive impairment). Past studies have supported the impact of using tools that emulate a physically restricted scenario to evoke creativity and empathy among designers. The proposed approach for Empathic Experience Design (EED) guides designers to have better leverage emulation tools to understand the latent design needs from recommended extraordinary user perspectives. The framework combines the physical parameters involved while interacting with a product with the interaction activities associated with the product. This combination is used to select empathy tools that will provide an interactive experience by eliminating those parameters. By eliminating the identified parameters, participants tend to look at the design needs from the emulated extraordinary user perspectives. The framework was tested with a pilot study in which 37 participants (20 participants for Treatment Group 1 and 17 participants for Treatment Group 2) of ages 20–26 were asked to redesign a medical syringe. The extraordinary use cases implemented in this study are visual impairment, hearing impairment, low dexterity and single hand usage. The study not only tested the recommended systematic approach, but it also showed the application of an extraordinary user perspective to understand the general latent needs associated with medical devices that are less likely to be used by extraordinary users. The results are promising evidence that a simple systematic approach to implement empathic design tools could have a higher impact than an unguided instinct based approach to choose the tools. The results also show that, when applied efficiently, the approach could capture a wide variety of latent needs from potential extraordinary user perspectives’.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology: Design Decision-Making

2018;():V007T06A014. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85584.

This study offers insight into the processes of expert designers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and how they make use of heuristics in the design process. A methodology for the extraction, classification, and characterization of heuristics is presented. Ten expert participants were interviewed to identify design heuristics used during early stage space mission design at JPL. In total, 101 heuristics were obtained, classified, and characterized. Through the use of postinterview surveys, participants characterized heuristics based on attributes including source/origin, applicability based on concept maturity, frequency of use, reliability, and tendency to evolve. These findings are presented, and statistically analyzed to show correlations between the participant perceptions of frequency of use, reliability, and evolution of a heuristic. Survey results and analysis aim to identify valid attributes for assessing the applicability and value of multiple heuristics for design practice in early space mission formulation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A015. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85698.

The objective of this work is to explore the perceived visual and functional characteristics of computer generated sketches, compared to human created sketches. In addition, this work explores the possible biases that humans may have towards the perceived functionality of computer generated sketches. Recent advancements in deep generative design methods have allowed designers to implement computational tools to automatically generate large pools of new design ideas. However, if computational tools are to co-create ideas and solutions alongside designers, their ability to generate not only novel but also functional ideas, needs to be explored. Moreover, since decision-makers need to select those creative ideas for further development to ensure innovation, their possible biases towards computer generated ideas need to be explored. In this study, 619 human participants were recruited to analyze the perceived visual and functional characteristics of 50 human created 2D sketches, and 50 2D sketches generated by a deep learning generative model (i.e., computer generated). The results indicate that participants perceived the computer generated sketches as more functional than the human generated sketches. This perceived functionality was not biased by the presence of labels that explicitly presented the sketches as either human or computer generated. Moreover, the results reveal that participants were not able to classify the 2D sketches as human or computer generated with accuracies greater than random chance. The results provide evidence that supports the capabilities of deep learning generative design tools and their potential to assist designers in creative tasks such as ideation.

Topics: Design , Computers
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A016. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85964.

Ownership bias is a type of decision making bias that leads to an individual’s tendency to prefer their own ideas over the ideas of others during the design process. While prior work has identified the existence of this effect in design professionals, this prior research failed to take into account the social effects of working in a team environment or to identifying the underlying impact of the characteristics of the idea set that impact the effects. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the existence of ownership bias and the factors underlying its existence through two design workshops with 45 design professionals from two engineering companies. Through the study, design professionals individually generated and selected ideas as part of a 2-hour team design challenge. The ideas were rated for their perceived future value through team consensus and for their creativity by expert ratings. The results suggest that design professionals only exhibited ownership bias for ideas that were assessed to have little to no future value in the design process by their team members (low in idea goodness) and the creativity of the ideas did not effect this relationship. However, professionals did show a preference for ideas with high usefulness and low uniqueness, demonstrating a potential bias against creative concepts regardless of ownership.

Topics: Creativity , Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A017. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86134.

Front-end design processes including problem definition and idea generation set a course for the ultimate success of a design. Many design process models emphasize the importance of divergence — considering alternative options — in promoting creativity. Depending on the circumstances of the design environment, design strategies to support divergence may be different as design processes are impacted by various contextual factors, such as available resources and expertise. To investigate how engineers explore alternatives during front-end design, we interviewed 10 academic engineers working in the discipline of microfluidics. Typically, a design process is described as identifying a problem and then generating potential solutions. In our sample, we found these engineers began their design processes with an existing solution and then searched for problems that fit. This qualitative study provided rich descriptions of design processes that show little to no evidence of divergence in generating possible solutions, and instead provide evidence of significant divergence in exploring possible problems. These data suggest traditional models of the design process are inadequate to capture the inverted solution-to-problem design process evident in designs of microfluidic devices created by academics. Understanding how design processes are altered in practice based on contextual factors such as setting and discipline can lead to strategies to better support innovation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A018. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86406.

The design process can be considered as series of decisions supported by modeling and simulation (M&S). Current developments aim at supporting this decision making with regard to increasing resources committed in the M&S process. To understand possible decision support, we conducted an empirical study in a car manufacturing company to map out the decision-making process during the development phase. A qualitative data analysis was performed to understand the difficulties and the needs expressed by decision makers. Industrial preliminary observations have shown that decisions regarding design issues are often postponed, causing iterations, and time and cost overruns in the development process. The study revealed that decisions are escalated to upper hierarchical levels as complexity and uncertainty increase and as the tradeoffs become impactful. A lack of knowledge about the M&S performance and limits, a lack of clarity due to design ambiguity, and uncertainty are more likely to cause iterations and delay. In addition, decision makers and stakeholders are sometimes unadvised of the influence of the decision under consideration on subsequent decisions and on the profit. These findings are interesting as they shed light in terms of decision supported needed in the future.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology: Design of Complex Systems

2018;():V007T06A019. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85254.

Increasing requirements on today’s products, as well as possibilities resulting from globalization and digitization, lead to a growth of increasingly complex products. However, design principles from the field of design engineering call for a product to be designed as simple as possible. It is not yet clear what characteristics and properties a simple product has. The aim of this paper is to clarify the different definitions of simplicity in different disciplines within the product lifecycle and to provide a general description of a simple product from the viewpoint of the different groups.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A020. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85266.

Increasing the modularity of system architectures is generally accepted as a good design principle in engineering. In this paper, we explore whether modularity comes at the expense of robustness. To that end, we model three engineering systems as networks and measure the relation between modularity and robustness to random failures. We produced four types of network models of systems — component, component-function, component-parameter, and function-parameter — to further test the relation of robustness to the type of system representation, architectural or behavioral. The results show that higher modularity is correlated with lower robustness (p < 0.001) and that the estimated modularity of the system can depend on the type of system representation. The implication is that there is a trade-off between modularity and robustness, meaning that increasing modularity might not be appropriate for systems for which robustness is critical and for those whose modularity estimate differs largely between each type of system representation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A021. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85340.

This paper proposes to cluster project actors (i.e., members) to form complementary teams based on their interactions and interdependencies with each other. First, the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) is used to model the interactions between project members, which are based on the number of deliverables exchanged between them. Then, an agglomerative clustering technique is proposed to place the project members into groups. The algorithm permits management to impose certain restrictions on team formations, such as the number and maximum size of the teams, which members must be placed together, and which members must be kept apart. Most importantly, the algorithm allows cyclic information exchanges (i.e., loops) to be inserted into team clusters. It produces as output the recommended team formations, as well as the percentage of the total number of interactions that occur within the clustered teams. The proposed clustering method is illustrated using data collected from a vehicle development project at a large European automotive company.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A022. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85774.

A rigorous, in-depth analysis is a common approach in complex system design. Elsewhere, however, more iterative and agile processes and open innovation have become commonplace. We experiment with an agile hackathon-type design sprint for solving industry-provided, complex system engineering problems. In a typical complex system project, significant domain expertise is expected and only one in-depth analysis is typically conducted to make recommendations for a given problem. The question we explore is whether a quick sprint with non-domain experts can result in useful insights for further analysis. We tasked seven teams in parallel to conduct analysis and suggest recommendations for a given company case in only a few hours. The industry challenge was to propose system changes that would mitigate risks due to the long lifecycle of the system and long time from order to delivery. The teams were given two a priori decomposed design structure matrices, representing the product architecture at two levels of granularity, as well as access to several analysis tools. The design sprint resulted in seven sets of recommendations, each with unique insights. The results and their variety highlighted the type of recommendations any given analysis direction would give if pursued further. It provided insights about the many different ways to potentially address the given challenge. As expected, it also highlighted the difficulty of analysis due to lack of detailed system knowledge. Nevertheless, the sprint was considered successful and meaningful as well as an effective means to augment traditional complex system analysis.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A023. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86006.

Self-organizing systems (SOS) possess the potential of performing complex tasks in uncertain situations with adaptability. Despite the benefits of self-organizing, it is also subject to the influence of unpredictable behavior of individual agents and environment noises. In hostile situations for example, individual performance of self-organizing agents may deteriorate and this can lead to system malfunction, posing great challenge for the design of SOS. In this paper, we propose a trust based model as a design approach to SOS in consideration of the capability heterogeneity of the agents. A box-pushing task was presented and studied. Trust is measured using beta probability distribution, which takes into account both the positive and negative interactions between the agents. The simulation results have shown that our trust model ensures favorable interactions among agents and leads to increased system effectiveness and conditional system efficiency improvement in comparison to SOS without using a trust model.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology: Entrepreneurship and Teams in Design

2018;():V007T06A024. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85436.

The use of computers during the design process continues to grow, calling for a better understanding of how experts make use of computer tools to automate and augment their design efforts. In this study, we examine how architects and engineers consider the use of computers and computation in planning a solution to a sample design problem. We find the design automation design process can be modeled with four phases; discovery, evaluation, extrapolation and interpolation. Unlike many design methods, we find the evaluation phase generally preceded the extrapolation phase. In addition, we identify common computational strategies and challenges faced by practitioners. Understanding this information can help advise and provide directions for designers across levels of expertise, to better integrate computers and computation in existing design work, and to direct further efforts in design automation research.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A025. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85457.

Teams are ubiquitous, woven into the fabric of engineering and design. Often, it is assumed that teams are better at solving problems than individuals working independently. Recent work in engineering, design, and psychology has indicated that teams may not be the problem-solving panacea that they were once thought to be. Crowdsourcing has seen increased interest in engineering design recently, and platforms often encourage teamwork between participants. This work undertakes an analysis of the performance of different team styles and sizes in crowdsourced competitions. This work demonstrates that groups of individuals working independently may outperform interacting teams on average, but that small interacting teams are more likely to win competitions. These results are discussed in the context of motivation for crowdsourcing participants.

Topics: Design , Teams
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A026. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85602.

A commonly held presumption is that the production of a team is superior to that of individual performance. However, in certain scenarios, such as during brainstorming activities and in configuration engineering design problems, it has been shown that individuals working alone are more effective than teams working together. This research considers whether the same outcomes hold for a more open-ended scenario, in conceptual engineering design. Thus, a behavioral study is run with freshman engineering students solving a conceptual design problem working in teams or individually. Results corroborate previous findings, showing that individuals outperform teams in the quality of their design solutions. One of the primary differences between individuals and group problem solving is the fact that groups need to verbalize to communicate ideas. Consequently, this study also analyzes how verbalization, which may be one disadvantage of team problem solving, affects the performance of individuals in this context of conceptual engineering design. Individuals who verbalize throughout problem solving, however, perform similarly to those who did not. Overall, the results from this study suggest that, individuals are still better performers and teams may not always be the optimal circumstance. Moreover, verbalization does not seem to act as a cognitive barrier to problem solving, and further investigation needs to be done to diagnose the potential impediments which put teams at a disadvantage to individuals during conceptual design.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A027. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85786.

This work presents a conceptual model of collective decision-making processes in engineering systems design to understand the tradeoffs, risks, and dynamics between autonomous but interacting design actors. The proposed approach combines value-driven design, game theory, and simulation experimentation to study how technical and social factors of a design decision-making process facilitate or inhibit collective action. The collective systems design model considers two levels of decision-making: 1) lower-level design value exploration; and 2) upper-level design strategy selection. At the first level, the actors concurrently explore two strategy-specific value spaces with coupled design decision variables. Each collective decision is mapped to an individual scalar measure of preference (design value) that each actor seeks to maximize. At the second level, each of the actor’s design values from the two lower-level design exploration tasks is assigned to one diagonal entry of a normalform game, with off-diagonal elements calculated in function of the “sucker’s” and “temptation-to-defect” payoffs in a classical strategy game scenario. The model helps generate synthetic design problems with specific strategy dynamics between autonomous actors. Results from a preliminary multi-agent simulation study assess the validity of proposed design spaces and generate hypotheses for subsequent studies using human subjects.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A028. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86009.

New product development (NPD) presents a number of challenges to engineering teams designing for the base of the economic pyramid (BoP). Existing design methods may not be appropriate for the unique operating context. In response to these differences, product design teams and researchers have turned to participatory design as an approach to designing with people in emerging communities to address the main failure mode identified in past BoP projects, namely the misidentification of user needs. Past research and experience has demonstrated that identifying users to engage in participatory co-design is challenging and effectively selecting the right user is critical for a successful project. This study examines whether Urban and Von Hippel’s Lead User Theory could be effective in NPD processes for BoP markets. This work explores extending Lead User Theory to participatory co-design projects in a BoP context using a case study of an improved cook stove design in Gujarat, India. A comparison of themes drawn from qualitative analysis of stakeholder interviews to Von Hippel’s Lead User Theory illustrates possible changes to the lead user concept to account for the BoP context. Results suggest that being “ahead of trend” is not critical to participatory co-design success. An extended model which includes an expanded definition of expected benefit, design communication skills, and access to user preferences through a social network could help identify “lead users” for participatory co-design projects in BoP contexts.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology: Human Behavior in Design

2018;():V007T06A029. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85403.

Products designed for the mass market, especially toys, can leave children with extraordinary needs unable to use them; products created using inclusive design principles can limit the intention of the design by altering original design parameters to become as wide as possible so that users with a range of abilities can use them. In contrast, designing for lead users with disabilities by focusing on a select group of people with extraordinary needs can drive design forward for a less specific population. Undergraduate engineering students from the University of Minnesota Duluth designed toys to meet the unique developmental needs of such a lead user, a child with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (CP). By focusing on the extreme needs of one specific child, the students designed toys that were engaging for the lead user as well as the preschoolers.

Three toys were prototyped using 3D printing and woodworking techniques and given to the lead user, age 4, as well as a group of children from a local daycare center, ages 16 to 33 months. The duration of each child’s interactions with the toys as well as the number of children able to accomplish the intended functions of the toys were tracked. The lead user accomplished 6 of the 9 total functions designed for the toys, 4 of which while using two hands. Additionally, the lead user accomplished 4 functions that under 50% of the daycare children accomplished. In general, the daycare center children played with the toys longer than the lead user. The toys engaged all the children in play that encouraged two-handed fine motor development, a challenge for children with hemiplegic CP.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A030. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85845.

Searching for and selecting among design solutions is not an effortless task. The principle of least effort suggests people seek to minimize the amount of effort they apply towards completing their tasks. In the context of engineering design, it is conceivable that expending more effort on the design problem yields a design solution with greater performance. In this paper, we investigate the impact of incentives on motivating engineering designers to increase the amount of effort they apply to solving design problems. Specifically, we formulate an analytical model of effort provision towards design tasks to compare two incentive structures: a probabilistic incentive and a deterministic incentive. With the probabilistic incentive, a designer’s final reward or penalty is uncertain, e.g. it is uncertain if a proposed design solution will meet requirements. With the deterministic incentive, a designer’s final reward or penalty is tied directly to the quality of the design solution as it is presented, e.g. a proposed design solution meets requirements with a certain probability as the figure of merit and the designer is directly rewarded or penalized on producing a design solution with that figure of merit. We parameterize the proposed analytical model and perform a parameter study to determine which incentive produces a more optimal design solution in the parameter space. Results show that there is no one dominant incentive structure, and the preferred incentive structure depends on how intense the reward or penalty is and how a designer subjectively valuates his effort.

Topics: Design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A031. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85869.

The purpose of this study is to establish a protocol capable of identifying functional leadership behaviors in engineering design teams. The protocol is developed from a literature review that includes general leadership theory and research performed on collaborative design teams. Three different raters applied the leadership protocol to a video recording of a graduate student team performing a function structure modeling activity. The results of the study demonstrate that the protocol has a high amount of intra-rater agreement and an acceptable level of interrater reliability. Additionally, the pilot study revealed that clarification and refinement of the protocol with respect to leader/follower behaviors can improve rater agreement. Finally, changes to the protocol are proposed to map leadership behaviors to the design space the team is working in and the design activities that the team is performing.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A032. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85942.

The flow of creative ideas throughout the engineering design process is essential for innovation. However, few studies have examined how individual traits affect problem-solving behaviors in an engineering design setting. Understanding these behaviors will enable us to guide individuals during the idea generation and concept screening phases of the engineering design process and help support the flow of creative ideas through this process. As a first step towards understanding these behaviors, we conducted an exploratory study with 19 undergraduate engineering students to examine the impact of individual traits, using the Preferences for Creativity Scale (PCS) and Kirton’s Adaption-Innovation inventory (KAI), on the creativity of the ideas generated and selected for an engineering design task. The ideas were rated for their creativity, quality, and originality using Amabile’s consensual assessment technique. Our results show that the PCS was able to predict students’ propensity for creative concept screening, accounting for 74% of the variation in the model. Specifically, team centrality and influence and risk tolerance significantly contributed to the model. However, PCS was unable to predict idea generation abilities. On the other hand, cognitive style, as measured by KAI, predicted the generation of creative and original ideas, as well as one’s propensity for quality concept screening, although the effect sizes were small. Our results provide insights into individual factors impacting undergraduate engineering students’ idea generation and selection.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A033. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86091.

Although trust is widely accepted as important for technology adoption and usage, it has received little attention in home automation, where users interact closely with these devices to enhance their quality of life. Research is needed to investigate how design considerations such as agent gender and automation location impact trust. This study expands on a pilot study by examining how stereotype congruence impacts implicit and explicit measures of trust in home automation devices. A smart lock simulation was utilized to examine how users interacted with systems that confirm and violate social expectations. The results show that users displayed more trusting behavior towards systems that were stereotype congruent than incongruent. That is, users extended their expectations of stereotypical social behaviors to their interaction with the home automation simulation. In addition explicit trust measures, or directly observable behaviors, differed from implicit trust measures, such as reaction time with the system. These findings provide a foundation for empirically testing and understanding the complex relationship between users and increasingly social automated devices.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A034. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86103.

This paper presents a protocol study conducted with mechanical engineering students, where the participants developed a function structure model for a novel design problem. A modeling activity video was recorded for each participant and coded using a protocol analysis. Pauses in the modeling process were analyzed to identify patterns based on pause time and frequency, distribution of pauses over the modeling activity, events following the pauses, and elements added after pauses. Results show that participants used an average of 38% of the modeling time in pauses with a pause frequency of 41%. Moreover, participants were also found to spend more time in pauses during the second and third quarters of the modeling activity. Subsequently, an analysis of pause lengths revealed three different pause groups corresponding to short, intermediate, and long pauses. Participants added elements to the model significantly more frequently, compared to editing and deleting elements. Instances of deleting were found to be more likely to occur after longer pauses, whereas editing was done more frequently after shorter pauses. Participants paused more frequently before adding flows, and more frequent pauses were observed before labeling function compared to adding function blocks. The flows were found to be labeled after pauses infrequently. Finally, limitations of the study are discussed, and future research questions have been identified.

Topics: Modeling
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A035. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86272.

This paper presents the results of an experimental study comparing cortical activation in the brain when generating solutions using brainstorming, morphological analysis, and TRIZ. Twelve engineering students were given the same three design tasks, respectively, using the three solution generation techniques. Students generated solutions while change in oxygenated blood along the prefrontal cortex (PFC) was measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. The results show that generating solutions using brainstorming, morphological analysis, and TRIZ leads to differences in cortical activation, specifically along the region of the brain associated with spatial working memory, cognitive flexibility, and abstract reasoning, called the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (left DLPFC). Brainstorming evokes a high average blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response in the left DLPFC early during the solution generation process but this high response is not sustained. In comparison, morphological analysis and TRIZ evoke multiple high average BOLD responses across the solution generation process. Not only was the high average BOLD response sustained but the density of network coordination among brain regions across the PFC was greater for morphological analysis and TRIZ. Higher density is a proxy for higher cognitive effort. The brain regions most central to coordination also varied. During brainstorming the right hemisphere, in a region associated with memory encoding (right PFC), was most activated. During morphological analysis, the left hemisphere, the left DLPFC was most activated. During TRIZ, both the middle and left hemisphere included regions of high activation. These results indicate neuro-cognitive differences of activation patterns, cognitive effort over time, and brain regions central for coordination when using these three concept generation techniques. Future research can begin to explore neuro-cognitive differences as a result of these techniques over multiple uses and the effects of design education.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A036. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86276.

Postulating that the act of making stimulates learning, a widespread effort prompted the integration of makerspaces on college campuses. From community colleges to research-based higher education institutions, large investments were and still are being made to advance the making spirit and encourage non-traditional learning in academic settings. While optimistic that students are taking advantage of the makerspace resources and are in fact learning from their experiences, there needs to be a more direct effort to understand the learning, if any, that is occurring in the makerspace. The makerspace is labeled as an open, learning environment where students are able to design, create, innovate, and collaborate [1, 2]. In response, we investigate the claims of this statement through the research question: how is learning experienced by female students in an academic makerspace? Female students in STEM, especially those engaged in makerspaces, have unique and uncharacteristic experiences that can lend way to various learning and pedagogical implications. The purpose of this paper is to highlight our methodological process for incorporating in-depth phenomenologically based interviewing and for utilizing open and axial coding methods to establish grounded theory. We interview five female students through purposeful maximum variation sampling and snowball sampling. Through a rigorous and iterative data analysis process of the ten-percent of the overall, we created a preliminary coding scheme that articulates how learning is occurring, what design skills are being learned, and what life skills are being learned. These preliminary findings show that not only are these female students learning by doing and learning how to problem solve in design, but they are also overcoming fears, developing patience, and communicating ideas in these design-oriented makerspaces.

Topics: Students
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology: New and Emerging Trends in Design Theory

2018;():V007T06A037. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85033.

The marine rudder with leading-edge protuberances is numerically investigated by SST k-ω turbulence model in present investigations. The newly designed rudder has a sinusoidal leading-edge profile along the spanwise direction. The numerical results show that the newly designed rudder helps to improve the lift coefficient of the rudder. The efficiency of the rudder is improved by adopting the leading-edge protuberances. The results are analyzed by means of streamlines and pressure coefficient. The leading-edge protuberances can delay or overcome the stall. The effect of leading-edge protuberances on the pressure coefficient of pressure surface is very small. However, the pressure coefficient of the suction surface is changed in the vicinity of leading-edge.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A038. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85191.

In this paper, we present a pilot study to show the first proof-of-principle of the recently developed Elephant Specification Language (ESL). The Prinses Marijke locks in the Netherlands are due for a major renovation. To effectively organize the renovation project, engineers need insight into the network of dependencies between components that are due for renewal and components that remain, to ensure that the replacement parts will fit and function properly in the existing structure. ESL is used to write a structured multi-level function specification for the Prinses Marijke locks. From this specification, multi-domain matrix (MDM) models of the system architecture are automatically derived at multiple levels of granularity. These models show dependencies between components, between functions, and combinations thereof. The MDM models are used to gain insight in the system architecture, to visualize which parts of the lock system are affected by the renovation, and to determine which dependencies have to be accounted for during the renovation process. This information is required to effectively organize the renovation project.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A039. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85643.

Energy powered devices often contain sufficient energy levels to require safety considerations. These are typically addressed in latter design phases through failure and safety assessments and mitigation strategies, after the concept is determined and design freedom is restricted. We introduce here an approach to consider safety in the early, initial conceptual design phases. We do this by considering the energy and material flow fields necessary for a design concept, and the effects these fields have. With this understanding, partitioning metrics can produce relative field layouts that can be used as a basis for new product concepts. The objective is to reduce user injury and material waste. Relative field layouts are generated by partitioning a product into its constituent fields and assigning values to them according to safety risk and relative connectivity. Then a layout is computed to provide necessary connectivity but also to reduce human interaction with high safety concern fields. A function structure layout can then be more readily developed from the field connectivity layout. The approach computes and presents the engineer with a field template for the product. This prevents internal product modules from dangerously combining high value fields with low value fields, which can thereby reduce exposure of the user to danger.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A040. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85759.

A properly designed product-system platform can reduce the cost and lead-time to design and develop a product family and thus achieve the tradeoff between economy of scope from product variety and economy of scale from platform sharing. Traditionally, product platform planning uses heuristic and manual approaches and relies on expertise and intuition. In this paper, we propose a data-driven method to draw the boundary of a platform, complementing other platform design approaches and assisting designers in the architecting process. The method generates a network of functions through relationships of their co-occurrences in prior designs of a product domain, and uses a network analysis algorithm to identify an optimal core-periphery structure. Functions identified in the network core co-occur cohesively and frequently with one another in prior designs, and thus are suggested for inclusion in the potential platform to be shared across a variety of product-systems with peripheral functions. We apply the method to identifying the platform functions for spherical rolling robots, based on patent data.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A041. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86283.

In prototyping complex systems, concept iterations often reach a point where incremental modifications to one part in a complex system can produce unexpected, cascading changes in the rest of the system. This phenomenon can require time-consuming and expensive corrections, particularly when physical prototypes are involved — as was the situation in the case study presented here. A design tool, the Design Structure Matrix (DSM), is commonly used to predict change propagation in complex designs. Using several examples, this paper illustrates situations where conventional DSMs fail to predict change propagation in the prototypes created during a robotic inspection system design project, due to complex interactions and system design constraints. The case study discussed here, a robotic inspection system for a nuclear waste storage cask, included interactions not easily captured in a conventional DSM. It was these interactions that interfered with the use of this tool to predict design change propagation. The paper then presents a method that was conceived to manage such changes; a way of modifying conventional DSMs to include design constraints and components. The case study examples show that the resulting technique, called the C+C DSM method, would have better predicted mid-development change propagation in the prototyping process.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology: Prototyping and Design Representation

2018;():V007T06A042. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85355.

Advances in 3D printing are enabling new rapid prototyping strategies for complex structures, such as mechanically efficient tissue scaffolds. Here, we have developed an integrated methodology with Design, Build, and Test phases to characterize beam-based lattices for bone tissue engineering. Lattices were designed with 50% and 70% porosity with beam diameters of 0.4mm to 1.0mm fabricated with polyjet printing. Build accuracy was validated with microscopy that demonstrated overall lattice dimensions were at most 0.2mm different from design and beam diameters were at most 0.15mm different. Quasi-static compression testing showed lattice elastic moduli ranged from 28MPa to 180MPa and decreased with higher lattice porosity but increased with larger beam diameter sizes. Scaffold cages for vertebral bone fusion were prototyped using 50% and 70% porous lattices with 0.8mm diameter beams with added central voids for improved nutrient transport, reinforced shells for increased mechanics, or both. Cage stiffnesses ranged from 1.7kN/mm to 7.2kN/mm and suggests the strongest cage prototypes are suitable for carrying typical spinal loads of up to 1.65kN. The study demonstrates the value in using integrated rapid prototyping approaches for characterizing complex structures and designing novel biomedical devices.

Topics: Design , Biomedicine
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A043. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85396.

Improving creativity in engineering design continues to be a challenge. The relationship between fixation and creativity within engineering is mixed, as engineers desire to be innovative, yet are usually working from their existing knowledge to redesign existing products. In the current study, we wanted to examine the influence of physical examples on originality and fixation at the freshmen and senior level in a Mechanical Engineering program. We compared concepts for garbage collection systems generated by two groups — one provided with an example product (Example group), and another who did not receive an example product (No Example group). Using metrics established in prior publications, we found that seniors had higher levels of originality than freshmen whether an example product was received or not, reinforcing our previous findings. Fixation scores were higher for the group that did have an example. Receiving an example product was not a predictor of originality on its own, but did interact with curriculum and fixation level. Within the group that received an example product, there was a negative relationship between fixation and originality, particularly for the seniors. Within the group that did not receive an example product, there was no significant relationship between fixation and originality. Further analysis of our results are required to delineate how not receiving an example product influences design approach in freshmen and senior engineering students.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A044. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85542.

The proficiency of Computer Aided Design (CAD) to save, communicate and render realistic virtual prototypes allows for easier communication and review of proposed design decisions via design reviews. However, the use of virtual prototypes is limited by the realism of the human computer interface. This paper builds on previous research investigating if increasing the realism of input and output interactions between subjects and virtual prototypes will affect user’s ability to analyze an assembly for errors. For this end, two experiments were conducted which asked participants to perform design reviews on assembly models and identify errors in the assembly. The first experiment tested virtual prototype output display factors through subject point of view movement and virtual prototype rotation. The second experiment tested human input factors using different controller setups. It is expected the more realistic virtual prototype rendering and controller input experience will result in more accurate design reviews.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A045. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85747.

Economic use of early stage prototyping is of paramount importance to companies engaged in the development of innovative products, services and systems because it directly impacts their bottom-line [1, 2]. There is likewise a need to understand the dimensions and lenses that make up an economic profile of prototypes. Yet, there is no reliable understanding of how resources expended and views of dimensionality across prototyping translate into value [3, 4]. To help practitioners, designers, and researchers leverage prototyping most economically, we seek to understand the tradeoff between design information gained and the resource expended into prototyping to gain that information [5]. We investigate this topic by conducting an inductive study on industry projects across disciplines and knowledge domains, while collecting and analyzing empirical data on their physical prototyping process [3]. Our research explores ways of quantifying prototyping value and reinforcing the asymptotic relationship between value and fidelity [6]. Most intriguingly, it reveals insightful heuristics that practitioners can exploit to generate high value from low and high fidelity prototypes alike.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A046. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85758.

Despite variances in contexts and styles of design activity, recurrent patterns emerge in design innovation approaches and processes which lend themselves to analysis and discussion. Using a Design Innovation framework [1] that is built, in part, on the UK Council’s ‘4D’ (Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver) model of design [2], we develop design signatures, graphical maps of design innovation processes. Design signature analyses of four multi-disciplinary industrial case studies illustrate the value of design signatures as useful design activity plots that can be used to plan and manage innovation teams and activities, and to identify critical features for reflection, for clarification, and for further analysis. This work is of interest to design practitioners, managers, researchers, and educators with various motivations, such as to seek a tool to convey and analyze design innovation activity.

Topics: Design , Innovation
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A047. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85800.

Effectively communicating designs to stakeholders or end users is a critical step in the design process yet can be a difficult challenge for engineers. Prototypes are unique tools that can enhance communication between these two groups, as prototypes are physical manifestations of the designer’s mental model. Previous work has demonstrated that novice designers often struggle to use prototypes as communication tools. We argue that it is critical that engineering students learn to fully leverage prototypes, and thus the current work sought to understand the relationship between argumentation, prototyping, and design decisions. In order to understand the communication patterns of novice designers during a prototyping task, a controlled study was conducted with a total of 46 undergraduate engineering students. The analysis of quantitative and qualitative data point to the intricate linkages between how students make material decisions and how they justify those decisions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A048. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85844.

The rise of affordable rapid non-contact digitizers and rapid prototyping tools, such as 3D printers, is enabling the seamless integration of geometric reverse engineering into the early phases of engineering design. Scanning technology has been widely adopted in bio-reverse engineering and the use of high fidelity non-contact scanners, such as Computed Tomography devices, allows designers, doctors, and researchers to digitally model boney structures, design orthotic and prosthetic devices, and preemptively plan complex surgeries. While the combination of 3D scanning and printing processes holds much promise for the fields of reverse engineering, biodesign, and new product development, problems with repeatability, accuracy, and precision have limited the wider spread adoption of 3D scan to print processes. While some studies have explored the errors inherent in higher fidelity scan to print (S2P) processes, no studies have explored the errors in S2P processes that leverage affordable rapid non-contact digitizers. The purpose of this study was to explore at which phases of the S2P process errors are introduced into the digital model. A controlled study was conducted using data from 27 scans using a common off-the-shelf non-contact optical digitizer and a relatively simple workpiece. Data from the digital thread was collected between each phase of the S2P process and compared against a truth model; the geometric and dimensional integrity of the data was calculated through a comparison between the digital model and the original truth model. Results indicate significant differences between digital models at the various steps of the S2P process.

Topics: Thread
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A049. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86092.

Building prototypes is an important part of the concept selection phase of the design process, where fuzzy ideas get represented to support communication and decision making. However, previous studies have shown that prototypes generate different levels of user feedback based on their fidelity and aesthetics. Furthermore, prior research on concept selection has shown that individual risk attitude effects how individuals select ideas, as creative ideas are perceived to be riskier in comparison to less creative ideas. While the role of risk has been investigated in concept selection, there is lack of research on how risk is related to the selection of prototypes at various levels of fidelity. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of prototype fidelity, concept creativity, and risk aversion, on perceived riskiness and concept selection through a between-subjects study with 72 engineering students. The results revealed that there was a “goldilocks” effect in which students choose concepts with “just the right amount” of novelty, not too much and not too little, as long as quality was adequate. In addition, the prototype fidelity of a concept had an interaction with uniqueness, indicating that unique concepts are more likely to be perceived as less risky if presented at higher levels of fidelity.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A050. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86293.

This paper presents a study on how prototyping and ‘Design of Experiments’ principles can be applied in the early stages of product development. It is explored how four design parameters affect the perceived desirability of a physical alarm device, in development by a small start-up company. By utilizing recent advancements in the tools and platforms, available for the fabrication of prototypes, a range of physical prototypes are made. These prototypes are used to conduct 44 user tests and the results were used to establish a statistical model based on the Response Surface Methodology. The results of the model are outlined, highlighting the primary drivers of product desirability, as well as exemplifying the dynamics among the explored desirability parameters. The statistical model is tested through an experiment, which verifies the model’s ability to prescribe the perceived desirability for specific prototypes of the alarm device. The study hereby presents promising results for incorporating Design of Experiment principles in early stages of product development, and the authors encourage further studies to be conducted.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A051. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86325.

The ability to visually communicate ideas and the willingness to generate free-hand sketches are critical skills for engineers. With the advent of CAD, schools no longer teach drafting, prompting a concern over the lost art of free-hand sketching. Recent empirical data from senior design indicates they do not sketch until forced to do so and this agrees with much anecdotal data. This paper describes a novel approach to teaching sketching in a freshman CAD course using an industrial design methodology during the first six weeks of the semester. As expected, sketching skills improved, but there was concern that this may be at the expense of spatial visualization skills typically taught through isometric drawing. Spatial visualization skills are critical for engineers and have been linked to success in engineering programs. The current study measured spatial visualization skills at three points during the freshman CAD course. The industrial design approach to perspective sketching led to significant improvements in spatial visualization scores that were not statistically different from the more traditional approach within engineering. Overall, it was the sketching portion, not the CAD, that significantly improved the students’ spatial visualization scores. Including free-hand sketching in engineering not only improves sketching ability, but also improves the spatial visualization skills crucial for success in engineering in a way that CAD alone does not.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology: Sustainability in Design

2018;():V007T06A052. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85329.

This paper presents a comparison of concept stage computational model predictions to capture how building energy consumption is affected by different climate zones. The California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) Student Housing Phase III, which received a Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the Building Design and Construction category, and its performance in a LEED California Nonresidential Title 24 (NRT24) and ASHRAE 90.1 climate zones is used as a case study to illustrate the method. Through LEED approved simulation software, the standard compliant energy simulation models are compared to the occupancy scheduled models along with the actual energy consumption in different climate zones. The results provide insight to how variables within student dormitory life affect total building energy usage. Total amount of energy consumed per area is one new factor providing understanding into occupancy trends. This new data set reveals more understanding regarding how and where the energy is consumed to maintain a comfortable learning environment.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A053. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85404.

Ecology has acted as a source for sound design principles and studies of ecosystems have examined how ecological principles can enhance sustainable human network design. Engineered systems are often designed for maximum performance, but in many cases, robustness is lost due to unwanted variations in inputs or efficiency. Taguchi’s signal to noise ratio and other quality engineering principles are well known fundamentals in the field of robust design. In this paper, we will introduce flow-based metrics from ecological network analysis (ENA) for robustness, efficiency, and redundancy. Ecosystem robustness is related to the balance between flow path diversity and system delivery efficiency. Systems with diverse flows are more resilient to a disturbance since there are redundant pathways, but are inefficient because they contain many flow paths with the same endpoints. Efficient systems are better able to transfer material and energy, but this is at the cost of fewer pathways so the system is brittle. Thus to survive a disturbance, an ecosystem system balances redundancy with efficiency. Thermodynamic power cycles are used to understand the relationship between energy efficiency, measured using first law efficiency, and ecological robustness and an ecological balance of efficiency to redundancy (as measured by ascendency vs development capacity). The result highlights the importance of understanding differences in the meaning of efficiency between two fields, and that from an engineering standpoint robustness does not have to be sacrificed to obtain energy efficiency.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A054. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85762.

This paper examines students’ design exploration strategies in a sustainability-focused structural optimization task. The task was set up as a two-criteria optimization problem with the goal of simultaneously minimizing the weight and an environmental indicator for a pedal bracket design. Forty-two students in an undergraduate computer-aided design class solved this task as a week-long, take-home assignment. Our analysis shows the number of design iterations and the number of failed iterations were significant factors in determining overall performance on the task. We also found that the final shape, the number of material changes, and experiencing conflict in the objective functions between iterations, did not significantly affect task performance. Based on these findings, we discuss implications for computer-aided optimization tools in sustainable product design.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A055. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86208.

Emotional responses to a product can be critical to influencing how the product will be used. This study explores the emotions that arise from users’ interaction with eco-feedback products, and investigates links between emotions and users’ resource conservation behaviors. In-lab experiments were conducted with 30 participants of varying backgrounds. Each participant was shown sketches of four conceptual designs of eco-feedback products and reported how they would feel and behave in different scenarios using the products. Results showed that taking immediate resource conservation actions such as turning off lights was correlated with negative emotions such as guilt and embarrassment. Users’ evaluations of product aesthetics, usefulness and overall quality, however, were highly correlated with positive emotions, described as satisfied, hopeful, interested and/or excited. Two styles of eco-feedback design, quantitative and figurative, were compared. Figurative designs were observed to evoke much stronger emotions among younger participants than older ones. Ultimately, we hope our findings are useful to the designers of eco-feedback products.

Topics: Feedback
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A056. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-86291.

Priming is a psychological technique that can alter designers’ mindsets prior to conceptual design exercises [1]. For example, priming the five senses enhanced designers’ abilities to communicate sustainability through the product features they designed [2,3]. Although the three pillars of sustainable design — social desirability, economic competitiveness, and environmental friendliness — are all important, they are not necessarily equally accessible or salient during the design process. This paper applies the collage priming method of [2] to (1) increase/improve ideas related to the sustainability pillars, in the eyes of users, and (2) reduce ownership bias and cause a more favorable judgment of others’ ideas, when compared to one’s own ideas. An experiment tests (1) and (2) for the collage priming method versus a reading preparation activity and no prime/activity for effectiveness in these two applications. The participants included graduate design student attendees at the 2016 IDETC conference and graduate engineering students at Stanford. For (1), collage priming is proven to be successful in helping designers to generate ideas that are more environmentally friendly but less successful in helping designers generate ideas related to social desirability and economic competitiveness, as judged by potential users; no more successful than a reading exercise. For (2), we find evidence that the collage priming reduces ownership bias in designers, as measured in their judgment of other (simulated) designers’ ideas, and in this case the reading exercise does not have the same effect.

Topics: Green design
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology: Trends and Technologies Impacting the Design Process

2018;():V007T06A057. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85259.

Technology evolution prediction, or technological forecasting, is critical for designers to make important decisions during product development planning such as R&D investment and outsourcing. In practice, designers want to supplement point forecast by prediction intervals to assess future uncertainty and make contingency plans. Available technology evolution data is a time series but is generally with non-uniform spacing. Existing methods associated with typical time series models assume uniformly spaced data, so these methods cannot be used to construct prediction intervals for technology evolution prediction. In this paper, we develop a generic method that use bootstrapping to generate prediction intervals for technology evolution. The method we develop can be applied to any technology evolution prediction model. We consider parameter uncertainty and data uncertainty and establish their empirical probability distributions. We determine an appropriate confidence level α to generate prediction intervals through a holdout sample analysis rather than set α = 0.05 as is typically done in the literature. We validate our method to generate the prediction intervals through a case study of central processing unit transistor count evolution. The case study shows that the prediction intervals generated by our method cover every actual data point in a holdout sample test. To apply our method in practice, we outline four steps for designers to generate prediction intervals for technology evolution prediction.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A058. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85327.

During the design of products and systems, engineers must quickly and accurately satisfy customer needs while adequately developing the required system functions with the minimum number of failures. Identifying potential failure modes during early design stages is essential to create reliable designs. Different engineering methodologies such as Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), allows engineers to identify how a set of components could fail. These methods are popular and commonly used in industry. However, such methodologies fail to recognize potential failure modes caused by human-product interaction. During the design of products, there is often a lack of sufficient attention to the human-product interaction. Even though human factors are considered during the design process, most of the design approaches fail to incorporate the human interaction correctly. In this research, we explore the implementation of a novel design methodology named Function-Human Error Design Method (FHEDM), which identifies possible generic human errors while completing a functional decomposition of the product. This method will provide engineers with useful information about potential failure modes caused by human-function interaction during early conceptual design.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
2018;():V007T06A059. doi:10.1115/DETC2018-85978.

Mass collaboration within the design engineering process supports the inclusion of unique perspectives when working on complex problems. Increasing the number of individuals providing input and support into these perplexing challenges can increase innovation, decrease product development times and provide solutions that truly encompass the needs of the market. One of the greatest challenges within mass collaboration engineering projects is the organization of individuals within these large design efforts. Understanding which projects would most effectively benefit from additional designers or contributors is paramount to supporting mass collaboration design networks. Within such networks, there exists a large number of contributors, as well as, a large pool of potential challenges. Matching individuals with the challenges that they can provide the greatest benefit to, or building a team of individuals for newly developed challenges requires the consideration of previous performance and an understanding of individual competencies and design abilities. This work presents a framework which recommends individual project placement based on individual abilities and the project requirements. With this work a pool of individuals and potential projects are simulated and the application of a hybrid recommender system is explored. Overall it was found that recommended team compositions greatly outperform the baseline team development, most notably as greater consideration is placed on collaborative recommendations.

Topics: Design , Collaboration
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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