Prototyping - The Collaborative Mediator

DS 74: Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education (E&PDE12) Design Education for Future Wellbeing, Antwerp, Belguim, 06-07.9.2012

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Berglund, Anders; Ritzen, Sofia
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, Sweden
Section: Design/Make interface
Page(s): 648-653
ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0


Given the potential to deliver ‘future wellbeing products’, learning mechanisms behind the establishment of such efforts is vital. In this scenario, early efforts are manifested in prototypes that concern ergonomic and innovative product features. Prototypes are made, presented and interpreted differently by people according to their understanding and frame of reference. Newness could interchangeably be used for prototyping as it unlocks cognitive mechanisms where embedded modes, e.g. visualization and communication, enable iterative learning loop in-between peers. The freedom of its use, which depends on contextual relevance and appropriate levels, is therefore important to be aware of. Looking at an ideal, prototypes should be equally strong knowledge disseminators in education as they acted upon in industry, but are they, and how could we expand our perspective on prototyping as a mechanism for creation? This paper investigates how prototyping allows new knowledge to emerge in its implicit role as collaborative mediator. The paper conceptualizes views on prototyping based on student’s perceived learning experiences and lecturer experiences from engineering design projects. In contrast to past prototyping research, this paper establishes a link between knowledge embedded perspectives relevant for prototyping and its consequences for learning.

Keywords: Prototyping, collaboration, knowledge, learning


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