MAKING STUDENTS’ FRAMES EXPLICIT
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
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Christian Tollestrup, Kaare Eriksen, Nis Ovesen
Author: Mřller, Louise; Kyvsgaard Hansen, Poul
Institution: 1Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, 2Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Framing is a vital part of the design and innovation process. Frames are cognitive shortcuts (i.e.
metaphors) that enable designers to connect insights about i.e. market opportunities and users needs
with a set of solution principles and to test if this connection makes sense. Until now, framing has
mainly been explored as an implicit and intuitive process, where the project framing emerges as part
of the designers’ on going reflection. However, in an educational setup the implicit and intuitive
nature of the framing process is an issue. Previous research on frames in an educational setting shows that the quality of team projects is
correspondent with the number iterations of the project framing. However, there is no research that
point to how more iterations on the project framing can be created, or how we as supervisors/teachers
can support this process. This research project explores the effect of encouraging students to make their project frames explicit
during the development of a conceptual design. The students were divided into two different groups.
The first group made notations on their framing process (either occasionally or everyday) the other
group did not. The study did not show any remarkable difference in the grades between those students,
who made their framing process explicit and those who did not. However there was a noticeable
difference in both the way and depth in which students with high grades continuously developed and
reflected on their frames (as part of the process) compared to those who got a lower mark.