DS 83: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE16), Design Education: Collaboration and Cross-Disciplinarity, Aalborg, Denmark, 8th-9th September 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Author: Ferraro, Venere; Colombo, Sara
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Design Department, Ploitecnico di Milano
Section: Preparing Students for Cross-dsciplinarity
Page(s): 533-538
ISBN: 978-1-904670-62-9


In this paper, an educational experience aimed to transfer design tools to practitioners with expertise in
different fields such as engineering, architecture, and psychology, is discussed. During an intensive
design workshop led inside a Master Level Programme in “Design For All”, participants used design
tools in order to develop new products/services. The paper investigates if and how design tools can help practitioners from other fields to take on a
design approach in the development of innovative products/services. The paper first outlines several
design methods conceived to help and guide designers during the creative process, then the
workshop’s activity is described. During the workshop, the attendees were provided with specific tools
to simulate the creativity phase of the design process. In particular, they were asked to: use an IDEO
Card to analyze the user’s interaction with a given product; use the user journey to organize the user
analysis and to identify the users’ needs, in order to set the design brief; perform the brainstorming to
generate new ideas; use the mind mapping to visualize and group ideas. The results in terms of
generated ideas were naïve because of the lack of competencies typical of designers. However, the
successfulness of the experience lies in the correct use of the design methods. The attendees
understood and applied properly each design method, also using a critical attitude. Limits of this
approach, such as the attendees’ tendency to focus more on the method’s rules than on the resulting
insights, will be discussed.

Keywords: Design tools, Design approach, Cross-disciplinarity.


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