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What is your (freaking) Problem? Prototypes for problem exploration on early stages of design
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Product Realisation. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9819-1009
2023 (English)In: From Abstractness to Concreteness – experiential knowledge and the role of prototypes in design research: International Conference 2023 of the Design Research Society Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG) Conference Proceedings / [ed] Silvia Ferraris, Valentina Rognoli, Nithikul Nimkulrat, Politecnico di MIlano , 2023, p. 702-715Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Prototyping is a crucial element of the design activity. Prototypes serve as temporary and incomplete embodiments of design ideas with which designers explore the design problem as well as propose and refine possible solutions to the problem. Given its deep connection to solutions, prototyping has been typically associated with the later stages of design. A stage in which the problem has been sufficiently mapped that a solution can be proposed and refined based on the discovery of requirements. Yet the question of what it means to prototype for problem exploration remains. To provide an answer to this question, first we take a quick look at what the role of prototypes is in design and more specifically what their role might be in the early stages of design. And later we discuss from the perspective of the reflective conversation that the designer has with the artifact it has created and what we reflect on when dealing with problem exploration. Subsequently some illustrative examples are presented of unintentional problem exploration prototyping from student design projects. To conclude, a reflection of the importance of design education in preparing practitioners to better deal with different types of prototyping beyond solution refinement. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Politecnico di MIlano , 2023. p. 702-715
Keywords [en]
Problem-space, early design, problem-oriented prototyping, design education, prototype
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-198348ISBN: 9788894167436 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-198348DiVA, id: diva2:1803090
Conference
EKSIG23 - International Conference 2023 of the Design Research Society Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, 19-20 June, 2023
Available from: 2023-10-06 Created: 2023-10-06 Last updated: 2024-04-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Problems in Problem-Based Design Engineering Education: Towards a Multidisciplinary Designerly Educational Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Problems in Problem-Based Design Engineering Education: Towards a Multidisciplinary Designerly Educational Approach
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Modern industry faces complex and 'wicked' problems that require engineering professionals to go beyond traditional natural science-based linear problem-solving approaches and adopt collaborative, multidisciplinary, and iterative problem-solving strategies. To tackle these kinds of problems, organizations are increasingly turning to design problem- solving methods based on the designer’s way of thinking, acting, and doing. Designers have a distinctive ability to deal with poorly defined, ambiguous, or "wicked" problems by emphasizing iterative exploration of both the problem and the solution spaces. They do this through design reasoning patterns that involve constant iteration and temporary solutions. This shift towards designerly ways of problem-solving has, in turn, had an effect on engineering education, where there has been a significant shift towards educational models that utilize design methodologies to engage students in immersive problem-solving experiences. One challenge for educators who utilize models based on designerly thinking is to create structures that actually support the learning objectives, and the development of student skills that are rooted in design reasoning and acting, and not merely in design tools. Another challenge is to support collaboration across multiple areas that traditionally had clear boundaries.

This thesis studies practices utilized by educators in problem-based designerly education to understand the underlying mechanisms and theoretical underpinnings of problem exploration in multidisciplinary education. Additionally, this thesis aims to explore and discuss the same processes and methods in the context of multidisciplinary education and design objects that can support collaboration across boundaries.

This thesis's key contributions are the exploration and discussion of aspects of problem exploration, framing, and reframing in a designerly problem-based multidisciplinary educational environment, as well as the challenges and difficulties that educators and students encounter in the process of exploring problems and collaborating and crossing disciplinary boundaries with participants from multiple disciplines. To do so, this thesis first explores the importance that (the framing of the) design brief has in the problem-solving process. Furthermore, the design briefs are discussed as boundary objects that serve a crucial role in negotiation, communication, and coordination tools between stakeholders. Second, the importance of the reflective process that follows the idea generation and prototype-building activities are discussed as an aspect of an educational model that allows participants to explore problems and avoid design fixation. Moreover, these objects are discussed based on their function as disciplinary boundary crossing objects and as an aid in negotiation, and collaboration objects in problem exploration. Thirdly, methods and processes for assessment of student characteristics and skills are discussed, where tensions and trade-offs between self-reporting and observer-based methods are studied and explored. These methods then serve as boundary objects in the discussions between teaching teams in the student team formation process. Furthermore, team building and specifically the process of trust-building and objects that aid in boundary-crossing collaboration and communication to develop trust between students are also discussed.

Abstract [sv]

Den moderna industrin står inför komplexa och så kallade "lömska"(eng. wicked) problem som kräver att ingenjörer går längre än traditionella naturvetenskapsbaserade linjära problemlösningsmetoder och antar samarbetande, multidisciplinära och iterativa problemlösningsstrategier. För att ta itu med den här typen av problem vänder sig organisationer i allt högre grad till designproblemlösningsmetoder baserade på designerns sätt att tänka, agera och göra.

Designers har en utmärkande förmåga att hantera dåligt definierade, tvetydiga och "lömska" problem genom att betona iterativ utforskning av både problemet och lösningsutrymmena. De gör detta genom designresonemangsmönster som involverar konstant iteration och tillfälliga lösningar. Denna förändring mot designmässiga sätt att lösa problem har i sin tur haft en effekt på ingenjörsutbildningen, där det har skett en betydande förändring mot utbildningsmodeller som använder designmetoder för att engagera studenter i verklighetsnära problemlösningsupplevelser. En utmaning för pedagoger som använder modeller baserade på designtänkande är att skapa strukturer som faktiskt stödjer lärandemålen och utvecklingen av studenters färdigheter som är förankrade i designresonemang och agerande, och inte bara i designverktyg. En annan utmaning är att stödja samarbete över flera områden som traditionellt har haft tydliga gränser.

Denna avhandling studerar den praxis som används av lärare i problembaserad designutbildning för att förstå de underliggande mekanismerna och teoretiska grunderna för problemutforskning i multidisciplinär utbildning. Dessutom syftar denna avhandling till att utforska och diskutera samma processer och metoder inom ramen för multidisciplinär utbildning och skapa designobjekt som kan stödja samarbete över gränser.

Den här avhandlingens nyckelbidrag är utforskandet och diskussionen av aspekter av problemutforskning, inramning och omformulering i en designmässigt problembaserad multidisciplinär pedagogisk miljö, såväl som de utmaningar och svårigheter som lärare och studenter möter i processen att utforska problem och samarbeta när disciplinära gränser korsas med deltagare från flera discipliner. För att göra det undersöker denna avhandling först vilken betydelse (utformningen av) "designbriefs" har i problemlösningsprocessen. Vidare diskuteras "designbriefs" som gränsobjekt som har en avgörande roll i förhandlings-, kommunikations- och samordningsverktyg mellan intressenter. För det andra diskuteras vikten av den reflekterande process som följer på idégenereringen och prototypbyggande aktiviteter som en aspekt av en utbildningsmodell som tillåter deltagarna att utforska problem och undvika designfixering. Dessa objekt diskuteras också utifrån sin funktion som disciplinära gränsöverskridande objekt och som hjälpmedel vid förhandling, och samverkansobjekt vid problemutforskning. För det tredje diskuteras metoder och processer för bedömning av studenters egenskaper och färdigheter, där spänningar och avvägningar mellan självrapportering och observatörsbaserade metoder studeras och utforskas. Dessa metoder fungerar sedan som gränsobjekt i diskussionerna mellan lärarlag i teamformeringsprocessen. Vidare diskuteras teambuilding och specifikt processen att bygga upp tillit och objekt som hjälper till i gränsöverskridande samarbete och kommunikation för att utveckla tillit mellan studenterna.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2024. p. 155
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 2388
National Category
Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-202865 (URN)10.3384/9789180756600 (DOI)9789180756594 (ISBN)9789180756600 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-05-20, ACAS, A Building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-04-23 Created: 2024-04-23 Last updated: 2024-04-24Bibliographically approved

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Ruiz Muñoz, Juan FelipeWever, Renee

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