Idea Generation in Collaborative Settings

DS 69: Proceedings of E&PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, London, UK, 08.-09.09.2011

Year: 2011
Editor: Kovacevic, Ahmed, Ion, William, McMahon, Chris, Buck, Lyndon and Hogarth, Peter
Author: Yilmaz, Seda; Christian, James, Daly, Shanna, Colleen, Seifert; Gonzalez, Richard
Series: E&PDE
Section: Creativity in Design Education
Page(s): 115-120


Creative strategies play a central role in design ideation; yet, few studies have empirically tested the success of ideation strategies in engineering design. In previous work, we extracted and further developed design strategies, called “design heuristics,” to support exploration of the space of potential designs. Once integrated into an engineer’s ideation process, they serve as cognitive "shortcuts" for generating multiple, diverse, and creative ideas. In this study, professional engineers from a manufacturing company applied the design heuristics to their current work as part of a small group innovation workshop. Using design heuristics not only allowed the team to generate new solutions to their existing problems, but also to discover and define new design opportunities. Additionally, the group spent a much longer time developing multiple designs for each heuristic than individuals have in past studies [1]. Our results suggest that the combination of heuristics and group interplay may enhance diverse idea generation.

Keywords: Engineering design, innovative thinking, idea generation, teamwork in design


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