The Potential of Creativity Metrics for Mechanical Engineering Concept Design

DS 58-2: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 2, Design Theory and Research Methodology, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Oman, Sarah; Tumer, Irem Y.
Series: ICED
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology
Page(s): 145-156


This paper endeavors to describe how creativity factors into engineering demand for creative products in all domains has increased dramatically in the last decade, warranting the need for a method to justify one design or idea being more creative than another. In the field of Engineering, design metrics have been developed that evaluate a set of ideas based on novelty, variety, quality, and quantity. Revisions to the metrics are presented in order to combine the novelty and quality aspects of creativity to evaluate individual ideas within a set of designs so that engineers can rank or quantify one idea as being the most creative within the concept design phase. The metrics are combined firstly under an assumption that, by combining the equations into one, a single equation can then be analyzed as a minimizing optimization problem with an objective to determine the optimal number of ideas generated in a set. This paper will go into detail about the optimization process and results, culminating in the implementation of a revised Innovation equation on a real-world set of designs generated by a junior-level mechanical engineering design class.

Keywords: design creativity, creativity metrics, ideation


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