DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Scully, Amos; Sypesteyn, Mark
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology, United States of America; Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
Section: The potential of interdisciplinary activities to foster responsible innovation
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.28
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


Industrial Design programs over the past two decades have modified their curriculum content to address the shifting technology, society economies and the expanding opportunities that design can address. Industrial Design has seen great value in the approach of Design Thinking which is reflected in education through course project methodologies where solutions may take a variety of forms beyond that of traditional products by working with a human centered approach. A key aspect to these methodologies is storytelling through the sketch depiction of human figures. Although Industrial Designers have developed techniques and methods to sketch products and often even environments, sketching the human figure bears further investigation. Sketch depictions of humans range from simple doodle figures as a means of brainstorming, to detailed renderings of end users for concept presenting. With figure sketch depiction offering many opportunities in today’s Design Thinking climate, this paper asks the question “At what level of realism in human figure sketching is optimal for design storytelling?” In the paper we examine the range of sketching humans from extremely simplified to highly realistic and detailed, and what range of abstract to realism provides designers in today’s climate the promotion of idea development and presenting.

Keywords: sketching, storytelling, visualization, human figure, sketch abstraction


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