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84113 Problem Solving in Industrial Design

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building: Design
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.

Description

A core activity within the profession of industrial design revolves around creative problem solving. Consequently, students need to be introduced to and develop a deep understanding of this core activity. This subject therefore introduces basic problem solving structures and strategies within an industrial design context. This is accomplished using various teaching strategies including a series of formal lectures, industrial design problems and projects (long term and short term) to be completed as individuals and in groups.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. demonstrate a preliminary and acceptable understanding of the creative design process as it relates to industrial design
2. differentiate between how a novice designer would approach a design problem and how an expert might approach a design problem
3. use and demonstrate different thinking strategies that will assist in developing creative solutions to industrial design problems
4. effectively use the strategies covered by this subject in both group and individual situations
5. demonstrate the use of critical thinking techniques and apply them to an industrial design problem.

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject combines studio design classes with a lecture series on problem solving, creative learning strategies and (expert vs. novice) design process. Students are required to work on a design project where they apply the knowledge gained in the lecture series through exercises and activities conducted in studio. Tutorial support is offered in studio for the design development of creative product solutions, supported by the results of the exercises conducted.

Content (topics)

This subject addresses the following issues and topics:

  • Expert vs. novice design process
  • Design problem analysis
  • Concept development
  • Interaction analysis
  • Embodiment issues related to product refinement
  • Convergence of design ideas and concepts
  • Evaluation and validation of design outcomes
  • Concept refinement

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Problem analysis project.

Weight: 20%

Assessment task 2: Refined Concept development – creative exploration and critical evaluation.

Weight: 30%

Assessment task 3: Large individual overall project with report.

Weight: 50%

Recommended texts

Lawson, B., (1990). How Designers Think. London: Butterworth Architecture.

Kokotovich, V., (2008), ‘Problem Analysis and Thinking Tools; An Empirical Study of Non-hierarchical Mind Mapping’, Design Studies, Vol 29, No. 1 pp. 49-69

References

It should be noted that the references listed below will be periodically reviewed and amended in order to maintain relevance due to the changing nature of the subject.
Akin, O., (1991). ‘A structure and function based theory for design reasoning’. In: N. Cross, K. Dorst, N. Roozenburg, eds. Proceedings of a workshop meeting held at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, May 29-31, 1991, Delft: Delft University Press, pp.37 – 60.
Anderson, R. E., & Helstrup, T., (1993). ‘Multiple Perspectives on Discovery and Creativity in Mind and on Paper’, In: B. Roskos-Ewoldsen, M. J. Intons-Peterson, & R. E. Anderson, eds. Imagery, Creativity, and Discovery : A Cognitive Perspective. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Science, pp. 223-253.
Athavankar, U. A., (1995). Learning from the way Designers Model Shapes in Their Mind, in Conference proceedings- International Conference on Cognitive systems – ICCS’95, Dec. 1995, New Delhi, India
Cross, A., (1986). ‘Design Intelligence: the use of codes and language systems in design’, Design Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 14-19.
Cross, N., (1991). ‘Research in design thinking’ In: N. Cross, K. Dorst, N. Roozenburg, eds. Proceedings of a workshop meeting held at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, May 29-31, 1991, Delft: Delft University Press, pp. 3 – 10.
Cross, N., Christiaans, H., Dorst, K. eds. (1996) Analysing Design Activity, Chichester, John Wiley & Sons.
Gero, J., Tversky, B., Purcell, T. eds. (2001) Visual And Spatial Reasoning in Design II, 2nd International Conference on Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design Bellagio Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy 17-19 July 2001, Sydney, Key Centre for Design Computing & Cognition, University of Sydney.
Gero, J., Maher, M. L., eds. (2001) Computational and cognitive Models of Creative Design V, Fifth International roundtable Conference on Computational and Cognitive Models of Creative Design, Heron Island, Queensland Australia 9-13December 2001, Sydney, Key Centre for Design Computing & Cognition, University of Sydney.
Goldschmidt, G., (1991). ‘The Dialectics of Sketching’. Creativity Research Journal, Vol. 4, No. 2 pp. 123-143.
Goldschmidt, G. (1994). ‘On visual design thinking: The viz kids of architecture’. Design Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 158 - 174.
Herbert, D.M., (1988). ‘Study Drawings in Architectural Design: Their Properties as a Graphic Medium’. Journal of Architectural Education, Winter Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 26-38.
Hertz, K., (1992). ‘A Coherent Description of the Process of Design’. Design Studies, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 393-410.
Kimbell, K. et al., (SEAC) (1991). The assessment performance in design and technology, London: HMSO.
Laseau, P., (1980). Graphic Thinking for Architects and Designers, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.
Lawson, B., (1979). ‘Cognitive Strategies in Architectural Design’. Ergonomics, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 59-68.
Lawson, B., (1980). How Designers Think. London: The Architectural Press.
Mathias, J. R., (1993). A Study of the Problem Solving Strategies used by Expert and Novice Designers. Thesis (PhD). University of Aston, Birmingham, UK.
McKim, R. M., (1980). Thinking Visually: A strategy manual for problem solving. Belmont, California: Lifetime Learning Publications.
Muller, W., (1989). ‘Design Discipline and the Significance of Visio-spatial Thinking’. Design Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 12 - 23.
Purcell, A. T., & Gero, J. S., (1998). ‘Drawings and the Design Process’. Design Studies, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 390-430.
Rantanen, K., Domb, E., (2002). Simplfied TRIZ: New problem-solving applications for engineers and Manufacturing Professionals, New York: St. Lucie Press.
Reisberg, D. & Logie, R., (1993). ‘The Ins and Outs of Working Memory: Overcoming the Limits on Learning from Imagery’, In: B. Roskos-Ewoldsen, M. J. Intons-Peterson, & R. E. Anderson, eds. Imagery, Creativity, and Discovery : A Cognitive Perspective, Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Science, pp. 39-76.
Savransky, S. D., (2000). Engineering of Creativity: Introduction to TRIZ Methodology of Inventive problems solving, New York: CRC Press.
Schon, D.A., & Wiggins, G., (1992). ‘Kinds of seeing and their functions in designing’. Design Studies, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.135 - 156.
Smith, G. F., & Browne, G. J., (1993). ‘Conceptual Foundations of Design Problem Solving ’. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Vol. 23, No. 5, pp. 1209-1218
Tovey, M., (1984). ‘Designing with Both Halves of the Brain’. Design Studies, Vol. 5, No. 4, pp. 219-228.
Tovey, M., (1986) ‘ Thinking Styles and Modelling Systems’. Design Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 20-30.
Tovey, M., (1989). ‘Drawing and CAD in Industrial Design’. Design Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 24 - 39.
Van Sommers, P., (1984). Drawing and Cognition, London: Cambridge University Press.