Visual inspection or product dissection? The impact of designer-product interactions on engineering design creativity

Christine A. Toh, Scarlett R. Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Designers commonly interact with products in the early phases of design in order to understand the solution space and gain inspiration for new designs. Although designer-product interaction methods such as visual inspection and product dissection are recognized as a pivotal component of the engineering design process, little data is available on how these practices affect idea generation or when these activities are most useful for inspiring creative thought. Therefore, the current study was developed to understand the impact of these activities on creative idea generation. During our controlled study, fifty-nine undergraduate engineering students were instructed to either visually inspect or physically dissect an example milk frother and then generate ideas for a new, innovative design. These concepts were then evaluated for their novelty, variety, quality and quantity. Our analysis (ANOVA) revealed that participants who physically dissected the example frother produced ideas that were more novel but of lower quality than those that simply inspected the frother. Our results provide insights on the impact of designer-product interactions on creativity and we use these findings to develop recommendations for the use and alterations of these practices for improving creativity in engineering design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication25th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; ASME 2013 Power Transmission and Gearing Conference
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Print)9780791855928
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
EventASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2013 - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Aug 4 2013Aug 7 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
Volume5

Conference

ConferenceASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2013
CountryUnited States
CityPortland, OR
Period8/4/138/7/13

Keywords

  • Design activity
  • Design creativity
  • Product dissection
  • Product-designer interaction
  • Visual inspection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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  • Cite this

    Toh, C. A., & Miller, S. R. (2013). Visual inspection or product dissection? The impact of designer-product interactions on engineering design creativity. In 25th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; ASME 2013 Power Transmission and Gearing Conference [V005T06A011] (Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference; Vol. 5). American Society of Mechanical Engineers. https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2013-13087