Embracing Ambiguity: A Perspective on Student Foresight Engineering

DS 58-10: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 10, Design Education and Lifelong Learning, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Shedletsky, Anna-Katrina; Campbell, Matthew; Havskjold, David
Series: ICED
Section: Design Education and Lifelong Learning
Page(s): 237-244


We propose that concept creation for foresight engineering design projects requires a modification of current pedagogy, because the scope is expansive and the final deliverable may never be fully realized. In current design curricula, there is little distinction between different types of design problems, yet foresight engineering design teams often struggle with their broad, sometimes under-defined, design problems. Based on a case study from Stanford University?s well-documented graduate design course, ME310, we discovered three insights that can be applied to other foresight engineering projects. The first is to use the ambiguity of the design space as an impetus for innovation; the second is to ensure that a chosen project concept complies with tacit limitations within the design field; and the third is to use parallel prototyping.

Keywords: foresight engineering, project-based learning, design education


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