Abstract: The paper introduces guidelines to support designers to generate ideas for the development of surprising products. The guidelines are structured coherently with the concept of sensory incongruity and the Function-Behaviour-Structure framework to create a mismatch between previously conceived expectations and product features. The usability of the interactive presentation is checked with an experiment that involved more than 30 subjects with a background in product design (mechanical engineers and industrial designers), which demonstrated to be capable of generating ideas using the same.
Abstract: Using the EEG features extracted from the EEG signals, the presented study investigates differences in the cognitive load posed on engineers while 3D CAD modelling in two different conditions, depending on the visual representations used as stimulus - a 2D and a 3D technical drawing of parts. The results indicate a higher cognitive load during the 2D drawing task. In addition, common indicators of the ongoing spatial information processing were recognised - a suppression of parietal and occipital alpha power, a higher frontal theta, and differences in theta power between the hemispheres.
Abstract: Teamwork quality (TWQ) is often associated with project success. Therefore, understanding TWQ is crucial to have better design project outcomes. Since most of the studies in the past have presented a cross-sectional analysis of TWQ, the current work focuses on capturing TWQ in a longitudinal way for a project-based learning (PBL) course. The results showed that the 6 facets differed significantly during the first half of the course than towards the end. In later phases of the PBL, TWQ and team performance were positively correlated than at the beginning.
Keywords: collaborative design | design education | design teams | product development | teamwork
 Cascini G., Nagai Y., Georgiev G.V., Zelaya J., Becattini N., Boujut J.F., Casakin H., Crilly N., Dekoninck E., Gero J., Goel A., Goldschmidt G., Gonçalves M., Grace K., Hay L., Le Masson P., Maher M.L., Marjanović D., Motte D., Papalambros P., Sosa R., Srinivasan V., Štorga M., Tversky B., Yannou B., Wodehouse A.,
Perspectives on design creativity and innovation research: 10 years later, International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation,
Abstract: The paper proposes an original approach for design protocol analysis that reduces the time and the effort required to extract relevant insights about the interaction dynamics in co-design sessions. Audio recordings are processed with a newly tailored algorithm that recognizes speakers during collaborative design and extracts indexes that describe the behavior of the designers, such as their degree of involvement in the session, their role (e.g. leadership), the length of their verbal interventions as well as the frequency with which they take the floor. The robustness of the approach is estimated by means of the application of the algorithm to three co-design sessions that are different from each other in terms of number and profile of the participants, language spoken and design task. The algorithm proved to be effective: the results of the analysis of spoken interactions from audio recordings are comparable to those obtained with quantitative techniques (precision up to 80% and faster processing time up to 100x).
Keywords: Co-design | Human behavior in design | Speech | Team dynamics | Verbal interactions
Abstract: This paper presents an approach to identify and validate indicators for the use of virtual prototypes (VPs) during distributed design activities. Identification of indicators is based on various data collection methods (interview, observational methods, literature review), whereas their validation and usage are based on the protocol analysis method. Using the approach, four indicators are proposed for a design review activity context. These indicators describe both the individual and collaborative use of the VP. To further delineate collaborative use, indicators distinguish personal and shared viewpoints, providing insights into synchronous collaboration. The implementation of the proposed approach and the four identified indicators were demonstrated on a design review session. The preliminary results show that, in a distributed design review activity, team members spend a small fraction of the time viewing the VP. On a team level, about half of that time was spent viewing the VP individually, while another half of time was spent working simultaneously (either synchronously or asynchronously) in pairs, triplets or four-members. However, this distribution varies among team members. Furthermore, team members utilised both personal and shared viewpoints, again varying among team members. Finally, instances of using the VP were usually brief but occurred throughout the whole session. Based on the conducted study, it can be argued that the design review involves continuous use of the VP throughout the session, either individually or with others (sharing the view or not). The proposed approach, indicators and preliminary results provide new insights for practitioners who develop tools for VP use, design teams that want to improve their efficiency in using VPs, and scholars that study the collaboration within distributed design activities.
Abstract: This paper proposes a framework for the systematic adaptation and digitalisation of engineering product development courses in the event of a crisis. Applicants can use resources of the framework to identify crisis-related boundary conditions that impact the delivery of education and are assisted in determining the necessary level of course digitalisation to respond to the crisis. Furthermore, the framework comprehends a review of modern educational teaching objectives, as well as a table containing tools and methodologies linked to educational targets. These can be used to enhance course design to keep students independently of their learning profiles engaged in study activities and to uphold an excellent knowledge acquisition in a volatile environment. An exemplary application of the framework on a CAD course in a higher education context guides the educator through the processes.
Abstract: Working under constrained conditions can boost or kill creativity, depending on the nature of the constraints (organizational, personal or task-related). However, a design process without clearly identified constraints, which set the project objectives, could lead to inefficiencies and unfruitful iterations. Some of the most acknowledged procedures to support requirement definition are focused on the use of specific checklists. However, notwithstanding the importance of the task, little attention was dedicated to the verification of the effectiveness of these tools. In such a context, the paper presents an investigation aimed at assessing the performance of three checklists that exploit different strategies to elicit requirements. To that purpose, a sample of fifty engineering students was asked to use the checklists to define the requirements for a specific design case. The outcomes of the experiment were assessed according to well-acknowledged effectiveness metrics, i.e. quantity, operationality, validity, non-redundancy, and completeness. The result of the assessment highlights that checklists based on more general questions or abstract stimuli can better support novice designers in making explicit internally felt design constraints that can potentially lead to more innovative design.
Abstract: Individual traits strongly impact team composition and the biases arising from them can also impact design activities. One such bias highlighted in the study is the familiarity bias (i.e., a bias that might be present between the two individuals due to their prior acquaintance). In order to detect the familiarity bias, participants from 4 universities who evaluated their peers and rated them for (1) their perceived degree of influence, (2) trust, (3) the amount of agreement they had with the other team member and (4) the amount of agreement the other individual in the team had with them. It was found that familiarity bias exists in collaborative teams. Its impact on the four variables, especially on influence, was discovered. In the end, the study briefly highlighted the importance of studying the factors (like the one revealed in this study) that affect influence in design teams as it eventually impacts design outcome. It was found that the individuals who explore most idea clusters, are less likely to be perceived influential and teams having the most influence produced a smaller number of idea clusters. Overall, the study contributes to understanding the factors affecting human cognition and behaviour in the design teams.
Abstract: This paper presents an EEG (Electroencephalography) study that explores correlations between the neurophysiological activations, the nature of the design task and its outputs. We propose an experimental protocol that covers several design-related tasks: including fundamental activities (e.g. idea generation and problem-solving) as well as more comprehensive task requiring the complex higher-level reasoning of designing. We clustered the collected data according to the characteristics of the design outcome and measured EEG alpha band activation during elementary and higher-level design task, whereas just the former yielded statistically significant different behaviour in the left frontal and occipital area. We also found a significant correlation between the ratings for elementary sketching task outcomes and EEG activation at the higher-level design task. These results suggested that EEG activation enables distinguishing groups according to their performance only for elementary tasks. However, this also suggests a potential application of EEG data on the elementary tasks to distinguish the designers’ brain response during higher-level of design task.
Keywords: Creativity | Design cognition | Electroencephalography | Human behaviour in design | Neurocognition
Abstract: This paper analyses the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in a distributed product design project-based learning (PBL). The paper presents the ICT use of five international student teams during three product design phases: identification of opportunities, conceptual design, embodiment design. General results show that student teams used around 30 different ICTs for both taskwork and teamwork. Students reported that they used previously known ICTs or ICTs properly introduced to them during the initial course workshop. Results also show that team members often work individually on their tasks and use various procedures to share their results. Also, teams conduct some activities synchronously, suggesting the need for teams to have a collaborative workspace. Cloud-based collaborative ICTs (e.g. whiteboard, computer-aided design, document editor, task management) showed huge potential for individual and team tasks. Hence, educators and teams should carefully consider which ICTs to implement and learn, as it might greatly impact the execution of the product design PBL course.
Abstract: As the society is already permeated by data, a data-driven approach to inform design for sustainable behaviour can help to identify misbehaviours and target sustainable behaviours to achieve, as well as to select and implement the most suitable design strategies to promote a behavioural change and monitor their effectiveness. This work addresses the open challenge of providing designers with a model for Human-Machine Interactions (HMI) that helps to identify relevant data to collect for inferring user behaviour related to environmental sustainability during product use. We propose a systematic modelling framework that combines constructs from existing representation techniques to identify the most critical variables for resources consumption, which are the determinants of potential misbehaviours related to HMI. The analysis is represented as a Behaviour-Inefficiency Model that graphically supports the analyst/designer to link user behaviours with a quantitative representation of resources consumption. The paper describes the model through an example of the use of a kettle and an additional application of the same approach to a washing machine, in order to point out its versatility for modelling more complex interactions.
Keywords: Behaviour Change | Big data | Process modelling | Product modelling / models | Sustainability
Abstract: Teaching TRIZ to students who are unfamiliar with it is vital as it assists in spreading a systematic approach to problem-solving in the design and production domain. Typically, the capability to use TRIZ proficiently is measured as a tangible output in the form of exams and project-based activities. However, understanding the impact of using TRIZ on students’ self-efficacy and problem-solving attitudes is a good proxy indicating how likely students will perseverate using this approach to solve problems despite their initial failures and motivations to get creative solutions. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to understand the effect of TRIZ-oriented courses on students’ self-efficacy and problem-solving attitudes towards design activities with respect to the change in the pedagogical approach (traditional and project-based learning) and course modality (in-person and remote). Data was collected at the beginning and end of the course for three different academic years. In general, the results show that project-based learning produces higher self-efficacy in students during a TRIZ course. However, traditional learning improves self-efficacy more than project-based learning. Additionally, in traditional learning, the students’ perception of their problem-solving attitudes at the end of the TRIZ course was higher. Regarding course modality, the remote modality of the TRIZ course produced greater increases in students’ engineering design self-efficacy than the in-person mode. TRIZ educators can benefit from these results and better estimate the opportunities and limitations due to the implementation of innovative pedagogical approaches in TRIZ courses.
Abstract: Extended Reality technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), are being applied in a wide variety of industrial applications, but their use within design practice remains very limited, despite some promising research activities in this area over the last 20 years. At the same time, design practice has been evolving to place greater emphasis on the role of the client or end-user in the design process through ‘co-creative design’ activities. Whilst offering many benefits, co-creative design activities also present challenges, notably in the communication between designers and non-designers, which can hinder innovation. In this paper, we investigate the potential of a novel, projection-based AR system for the creation of design representations to support co-creative design sessions. The technology is tested through benchmarking experiments and in-situ trials conducted with two industrial partners. Performance metrics and qualitative feedback are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the new technology in supporting co-creative design sessions. Overall, AR technology allows quick, real-time modifications to the surfaces of a physical prototype to try out new ideas. Consequently, designers perceive the possibility to enhance the collaboration with the end-users participating in the session. Moreover, the quality and novelty of ideas generated whilst using projection-based AR outperform conventional sessions or handheld display AR sessions. Whilst the results of these early trials are not conclusive, the results suggest that projection-based AR design representations provide a promising approach to supporting co-creative design sessions.
Abstract: This paper presents and discusses a fast and efficient method to study artefact-centric interactions in co-design sessions. The method is particularly useful for exploring the introduction of augmented reality (AR) environments since AR application representations combine both digital content and physical content, transforming the way users interact with the design object. Although protocol analysis is extensively used in cognitive studies of design, it is a time-consuming and cumbersome method and hence unsuitable for extensive analysis in industrial environments. Our real-time coding method makes it possible to perform “on-the-fly” coding of physical interactions in co-design sessions. Focusing on quantifying interaction occurrences, our results are consistent with those obtained with post-session coding. Internal validity was assessed using relevant statistical tests. Based on the data collected in co-design sessions we show how aggregate results, especially timelines and interaction densities, can be displayed rapidly at the end of each session. This research paves the way for a more general implementation of real-time coding of collaborative work sessions in industrial situations.
Abstract: The study of surprising product features is crucial for designing products that potentially trigger attention and curiosity. Through a tailored questionnaire, this study gathered reactions from 100 respondents to solutions which were considered to be surprising. The data about surprise emergence and its modalities were processed using a situated FBS-based cognitive framework, shifted to the perspective of the user/observer. Data analysis shows that FBS variables and the related cognitive processes are suitable for describing similarities and differences in the reasoning path of users when surprise emerges. This confirms that individually pre-conceived expectations are crucial to surprise emergence and that these expectations relate to functional, behavioural or structural variables with similar mechanisms that depend on thinking processes triggered by product features.
Keywords: creativity | design cognition | design research | evaluation | user behaviour
Abstract: The definition of a comprehensive initial set of engineering requirements is crucial to an effective and successful design process. To support engineering designers in this non-trivial task, well-acknowledged requirement checklists are available in literature, but their actual support is arguable. Indeed, engineering design tasks involve multifunctional systems, characterized by a complex map of requirements affecting different functions. Aiming at improving the support provided by common checklists, this paper proposes a structured tool capable of allocating different requirements to specific functions, and to discern between design wishes and demands. A first experiment of the tool enabled the extraction of useful information for future developments targeting the enhancement of the tool's efficacy. Indeed, although some advantages have been observed in terms of the number of proposed requirements, the presence of multiple functions led users (engineering students in this work) to useless repetitions of the same requirement. In addition, the use of the proposed tool resulted in increased perceived effort, which has been measured through the NASA Task Load Index method. These limitations constitute the starting point for planning future research and the mentioned enhancements, beyond representing a warning for scholars involved in systematizing the extraction and management of design requirements. Moreover, thanks to the robustness of the scientific approach used in this work, similar experiments can be repeated to obtain data with a more general validity, especially from industry.
Abstract: Within co-design sessions involving designers and non-designers, the type and characteristics of the design representations employed is known to impact the performance of such sessions in terms of idea generation, idea evaluation and communication. This study captures the challenges practitioners face in creating and using design representations for co-design sessions and goes on to investigate the potential of Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR) to overcome those challenges. The advantages of SAR in this application are that, multiple concepts can be represented using one physical model, concepts can be modified live during the session, and additional equipment (such as head mounted displays or handheld devices) is not required, thus eliminating any possible interference with the natural interactions between participants. Interviews with design practitioners and trials with a prototype SAR system are used to identify the key challenges faced by practitioners in their current use of design representations, and to capture the technology requirements for a SAR system for use in co-design sessions. These findings can inform the work of technology developers and researchers working on systems to support co-design sessions.
Abstract: This paper reports an experiment that aims at providing new evidence to reinforce contradictory conclusions, as available in engineering design literature, on the effect of analogical distance on ideation performance of designers. The experiment involved 84 graduate students in Mechanical Engineering, with typical competencies on engineering design, but without any specific skill on analogy-based idea generation. The subjects were exposed to three different treatments (near-, medium-, far-field analogies) whose design performance has been compared to a control group. The observation confirms that designers not specifically trained in designing-by-analogy get benefit from sources of inspiration that share the same (sub-)functions and context of the target system, as their idea generation process lead to ideas having higher novelty and quality compared to the outcomes of subjects exposed to more distant analogies. The observed results also show that the exploration of the design space gets positively affected.
Keywords: Analogical reasoning | creative process | creativity evaluation | idea generation | inspiration
Abstract: The paper presents the application of non-specialized lexical database and semantic metrics on transcripts of co-design protocols. Three different and previously analyzed design protocols of co-creative sessions in the field of packaging design, carried out with different supporting tools, are used as test-bench to highlight the potential of this approach. The results show that metrics about the Information Content and the Similarity maps with sufficient precision the differences between ICT- and non-ICT-supported sessions so that it is possible to envision future refinement of the approach.
Keywords: big data analysis | collaborative design | human behaviour | research methodologies and methods | text mining
Abstract: The article stems from the main informative gaps of Design for Sustainable Behaviour and discusses the paramount role of a data-driven approach to inform design. The article stresses how quantitative data can address global sustainability, determine behaviours to modify, measure the impact of new learned sustainable behaviours as well as support the definition of behaviour change strategies, widening the spatial and temporal scales to communities and longitudinal studies and reducing unpredictable biases coming from tacit knowledge externalization and interpretation.
Keywords: data mining | human behaviour | sustainable design | user-centred design
Abstract: The paper presents a comparative study that explores the effectiveness of creative stimuli to foster the generation of creative ideas in non-trained professionals during a co-creative design session. Solution-related stimuli (e.g. patents or biological strategies) are confronted with problem-based stimuli (e.g. TRIZ contradictions or Ideal Final Result), which are less studied in the literature. The 40 participants to the experimental activity benefited from both kind of stimuli, but the solution-related ones allowed a more comprehensive exploration of the design space.
Keywords: collaborative design | creative stimuli | design creativity | idea generation | open innovation
Abstract: The paper presents the original integration of ICT tools and e-learning platform into an infrastructure to support Project-based learning for a design class that is geographically distributed across different countries. 30 Mechanical Engineering students from 4 European countries tested the infrastructure prototype for the development of an innovative solution in the field of white goods. The results produced evidence about the suitability of the proposal together with strong and weak points of the infrastructure, that can support further development and adaptation into different contexts.
Abstract: The paper discusses the outcomes of tailored ideation workshops (duration: 3 hours) for students of Design Engineering, not trained in design creativity dimensions and their assessment. 65 participants generated ideas to address a design problem, first individually and then in groups of 4/5 people. They were asked to cluster their ideas intuitively and then according to the structure of the genealogy tree. The reflections on the ideation experience (structured consistently with the Kolb cycle) helped them to easily consolidate their understanding of typical metrics of creativity (Novelty, Quality, Quantity and Variety). A survey questions them after four months from the workshop and the results show that the metrics are still clear, despite some controversial results appear for quantity. The investigation also shows that novelty has become the main driver to self-Assess the effectiveness of their creative ideation performance.
Abstract: This paper aims at checking the capabilities of tools to support coding activities for protocol design analysis to improve the efficiency of the process. The application of existing coding schemes to different protocols from real collaborative design sessions allows showing that the approach and the proposed tools can be flexibly adopted for various type of design tasks (product interface design and packaging design). The experiments to check the effectiveness of the proposed tools involved non-expert coders to create challenging experimental conditions and explore. This also allows exploring the viability of approaching the coding stage by non-expert coders in design protocol analysis, with a double goal: the positive results obtained show that is possible to release experts from time-demanding and HR consuming activities and, at the same time, obtain multiple parallel coded protocols for more reliable analysis. The outcomes are also discussed in terms of the implications on the development of similar supporting tools.
Abstract: Author would like to make corrections in the original publication. Author would like to add a reference to the part 4.3.1 (page 11, in the middle of line 12). The stimuli based on the technical trends of evolution were five stimuli that three of them were ready as TRIZ material course (Souchkov 2017) and two others were prepared by authors.
Abstract: This paper presents the outcomes of an exploratory research to clarify the performance of R&D designers when involved in design task for the ideation of the next generation of a technical system. The research aims also at clarifying if creative stimuli play a role in supporting ideation after idea generativity decreases because of natural exhaustion or the emergence of fixation. The effect of precedents (singular as patents, and structural as technology evolution trends), as well as design strategies (in the form of a design procedure for inventive problem solving) on idea generation, is compared by means of an experiment involving 24 R&D Iranian engineers. Precedents demonstrated to be more effective than design strategies in supporting productivity in idea generation, while generally they are not effective enough to support the generation of candidate ideas for the next generation of a technical system with a robust repeatability. The main recorded lacks depend on the capabilities of creative stimuli to support the generation of novel ideas, as they are generally effective in providing good results with reference to technical plausibility and relevance for a target audience. The results of the experiment are also discussed with reference to the efficiency of the design process (number of generated ideas per time unit). The outcomes of such studies, as part of a broader research objective, serve as input to support the development of a serious game to support R&D engineers to face design tasks for the next generation of technical systems with higher motivation and engagement, providing them with an improved design experience.
Abstract: This paper aims at assessing the impact of inventive design education on students attending a class on Methods and Tools for Systematic Innovation. The study stems from the difficulty to understand how much personal inventive talent influences the final evaluation, especially in a context where students are asked to solve open problems, as conceptual design ones. To overcome the potential bias due to the individual talent, the authors propose to determine the impact of their teaching activity by means of an ex-ante/ex-post correlation analysis. Several cohorts of students along the years have been asked to solve some design problems at the beginning of the course, when no topics have been thought yet. An adapted creativity metrics enriched to map course contents measures the students' performance at the beginning ot the class (ex-ante). These results get correlated to the students' final grades (ex-post) in order to highlight areas where teaching has a stronger impact and those where talent remains predominant.
Abstract: The observation of designers' behaviour in collaborative design activities and the analysis of protocols improved the understanding of how novel ideas emerge, what occurs among designers and, indirectly, what methods have a good impact on the outcomes. Yet, protocol analysis requires recording the design sessions, often in a simulated environment, thus introducing a bias in the observation. Moreover, the analysis takes up to 1000 times the duration of the observed design session. These limitations definitely hinder the scalability of this practice to large experiments in real operational environments. This paper investigates the possibility to use the data collected in log files, automatically recorded during collaborative design sessions assisted by an ICT design support tool, as a means to extract relevant information about the design process and ultimately to infer insights about co-designers' cognition during the session. In this perspective, the paper proposes a set of metrics tailored to an Augmented Reality-based collaborative design tool. The study has been carried about by processing the data collected in 5 real case studies conducted in three different design companies.
Keywords: Big data | Collaborative design | Design informatics | Design Protocol Analysis | Human behaviour in design
Abstract: This paper presents evidence supporting the hypothesis that, for designers not specifically trained in designing-by-analogy, the sources of inspiration that share the same (sub-functions) and context of the target system lead to ideas having higher novelty and quality. The exploration of the design space gets positively affected as well. These evidence emerge after the statistical analysis of the results of an experiment that involved 84 graduate students in Mechanical Engineering, with typical competencies on engineering design, but without any specific skill on analogy-based idea generation.
Keywords: Creative stimuli | Design-by-analogy | Experiment | Idea generation
Abstract: The paper presents a coding scheme for design protocol analysis of collaborative sessions supported by Augmented Reality. It maps verbal interactions during creative sessions, so as to distinguish co-designers' intentions and the related contents characterizing the characteristics of the design proposal in terms of items and related parameters. Three different co-creative sessions and a tailored metrics allowed for checking the coding scheme effectiveness, showing good mapping capabilities and versatility of application also to compare similar sessions carried out with and without AR support.
Abstract: Co-creation can offer business benefits such as increased speed to market, increased product quality, and a reduced risk of market failure. However, co-creative design sessions can be challenging due to communication barriers between designers and non-designers that can result in misunderstandings and inhibit the efficient exchange of ideas. The potential for augmented reality-based design representations to overcome these challenges and support more effective co-creation sessions is explored through controlled experiments conducted with professional designers and end users.
Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of information extracted from patents on the creative performance of R&D engineers involved in new product design tasks. The creative stimuli originated by domain specific patent sources are proposed in the form of problem-solutions maps possibly enriched with TRIZ contradiction models related to the challenges addressed by the patents. The effectiveness of this kind of creative stimuli has been checked with a two-phase experiment that involved 56 professional engineers as testers subdivided into design teams of 2 people each. The teams were initially asked to brainstorm and generate innovative ideas in the field of devices for walking support (walkers). The 28 teams were, then, exposed to 4 different treatments (7 teams each): simple brainstorming as control group, problem-solution maps with and without related TRIZ contradiction models, patent-text used as far-field sources of analogy. The results of the experiment show that the problem-solution maps alone enhance variety of generated solutions, while enriched by the TRIZ contradiction models have a higher impact on novelty despite with a smaller variety.
Abstract: The paper presents an investigation that aims at describing the behaviour of designers, designers' client and products' end user in collaborative design sessions, which are characterized by language barriers and significant differences in the background and competencies of the involved stakeholders. The study has been developed within a European project aimed at developing a Spatial Augmented Reality based platform that enriches and facilitates the communication in co-design. Through the analysis of a real case study in the field of packaging design involving a team of ten design actors, the paper analyses with an original joint approach both the gestures and the verbal interactions of the co-design session. After describing the two tailored coding schemes that capture different facets of, respectively, the gestures and the content of the communication occurring between the participants, the paper describes the partial results and the outcomes of the joint analysis, revealing the importance of combining the two forms of study to suitably characterize the behaviour of the design actors.
Keywords: Collaborative design | Communication | Creativity | Gestures | Human behaviour in design
Abstract: Scholars argue about the role played by surprise in making new products creative. Different perspectives evaluate surprise as a nuance of novelty, an independent dimension, or an emotional reaction to new products. The paper proposes a framework of factors supposedly characterizing the emergence of surprise in terms of individuals’ interpretations and/or modifications of products’ behavior and structure. Moreover, it illustrates the outcomes of a preliminary empirical investigation about the manifestation of unexpectedness according to such a framework: the proposed factors have been checked by interpreting the motivations leading to the presence of surprise in 12 new lamps described in the literature. The experiment states the reasonability of the described factors and, as a consequence, the paper provides a contribution to better articulate the debate in the research arena.
Abstract: This paper presents a methodological tool to support the search for Natural Sources of Inspiration so as to spark new ideas in designers along Bio-Inspired Design activities. The proposed tool leverages the correlation between the NIST Functional Basis and the Biomimicry Taxonomy, to allow designers with no or scarce biological knowledge to search already existing databases of natural phenomena. The methodological framework is structured so that its implementation in a CAx system can be promisingly carried out.
Abstract: The paper presents the analysis of an original online survey that aims at checking the factors triggering surprise in randomly chosen evaluators who were submitted a set of surprising products. The authors use the answers to check the capability of a situated FBS-based model to help catch the main factors triggering surprise in products, here seen as a mismatch between what is interpreted and previously conceived expectations. The survey questionnaire shows to be effective in grabbing surprising factors and the results demonstrate that the model allows a strong ex-post convergence in the investigation of surprising factors.
Abstract: The diffusion of TRIZ in the industry is still under the expectations of the scientific community. According to authors' experience, barriers to industrial adoption are constituted, among the others, by difficulties in approaching problems characterized by tangled networks of parameters and, consequently, very large number of contradictions. The most tailored tools to face this problem aim at managing networks of contradictions. They try to establish the starting point for an effective problem solving process. The task suffers from subjective evaluations or difficulties with applying complex algorithmic procedures. Besides, the existing approaches overlook the potential benefits descending from overcoming each single contradiction. The authors illustrate a strategy to prioritize technical contradictions, which includes metrics concerning customer value. More specifically, the implemented criteria feature the probability of succeeding in the marketplace. Thus, a business perspective is introduced in the problem solving process. The proposal has been experimented through an application to a mature phase included in the manufacturing process of pharmaceutical tablets. Said production phase, taken as the reference technical system, figures out 239 different contradictions. The application of the developed approach allowed to individuate contradictions whose solution has considerably influenced the technical evolution of the treated industrial sector.
Keywords: customer value | networks of contradictions | pharmaceutics industry | prioritization of contradictions | TRIZ
 Becattini N., Borgianni Y., Cascini G., Rotini F.,
Surprise as a situated phenomenon, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED,
Abstract: Among the studies dedicated to design creativity, a significant attention is given to the investigation of its dimensions, such as novelty and usefulness. The underlying assumption is that an enhanced knowledge of them is helpful to better understand limitations of current design approaches, and improve methods and tools. While there is still a lively discussion about these dimensions, some authors highlight that among them surprise deserves to be considered an independent aspect that differs from novelty. In fact, the latter concerns unprecedented peculiarities of an artefact, while surprise tells about the unexpectedness of a feature whatever is the degree of difference with pre-existing ones. Having observed the lack of reference models to investigate the emergence of surprise when a user first meets a new artefact, the authors propose an original model to describe the occurring cognitive processes. The model exploits some fundamental concepts of Gero's situated FBS framework and represent surprise as a mismatch between the interpretation of reality given by an observer and her/his expectations due to previous experiences. The model is illustrated by means of three examples.
Abstract: It is commonly recognized that the definition of product requirements is an essential step of any design process. Many techniques have been proposed for building a suitable design specification, i.e. for defining a set of requirements characterized by validity, completeness, operationality, non-redundancy, conciseness and practicability. Among them, several methods and tools primarily aim at populating the design specification: some of them focus on very specific objectives but are applicable in many different domains (e.g., Design for X). Others are domain specific, but try to cover the entire scope of the specification (e.g., checklists and standards). This paper describes an abstract-level checklist for requirements definition, suitable for any field of application, aiming at producing exhaustive lists of requirements. A previous experimental application with Mechanical Engineering students clearly showed that the proposed multi-purpose checklist allows populating design specifications more complete than those defined without any support. This paper follows up demonstrating the capability of the novel checklist against the checklist for conceptual design by Pahl and Beitz.
Abstract: Scholars argue about the role played by surprise in making new products creative. Different perspectives evaluate surprise as a nuance of novelty, an independent dimension or an emotional reaction to new products. The paper illustrates the outcomes of an empirical investigation about surprising artefacts, resulting in the individuation of factors impacting the manifestation of unexpectedneb in terms of individuals' interpretations and/or modifications of products' behaviour and structure. Such factors have been checked by interpreting the motivations leading to the presence of surprise in 12 new lamps described in the literature. The experiment states the reasonability of the described factors and, as a consequence, the paper provides a contribution to better articulate the debate in the research arena.
Abstract: The growing complexity of technical solutions, which encompass knowledge from different scientific fields, makes necessary, also for multi-disciplinary working teams, the consultation of information sources. Indeed, tacit knowledge is essential, but often not sufficient to achieve a proficient problem solving process. Besides, the most comprehensive tool of the TRIZ body of knowledge, i.e. ARIZ, requires, more or less explicitly, the retrieval of new knowledge in order to entirely exploit its potential to drive towards valuable solutions. A multitude of contributions from the literature support various common tasks encountered when using TRIZ and requiring additional information; most of them hold the objective of speeding up the generation of inventive solutions thanks to the capabilities of text mining techniques. Nevertheless, no global study has been conducted to fully disclose the effective knowledge requirements of ARIZ. With respect to this deficiency, the present paper illustrates an analysis of the algorithm with the specific objective of identifying the different types of information needs that can be satisfied by patents. The results of the investigation lay bare the most significant gaps of the research in the field. Further on, an initial proposal is advanced to structure the retrieval of relevant information from patent sources currently not supported by existing methodologies and software applications, so as to exploit the vast amount of technical knowledge contained in there. An illustrative experiment sheds light on the relevance of control parameters as input terms for the definition of search queries aimed at retrieving patents sharing the same physical contradiction of the problem to be treated.
Keywords: ARIZ85 | Explicit knowledge | Information retrieval | Patent
Abstract: The paper presents an overview of the FORMAT methodology, an approach for technological forecasting capable of satisfying the need of manufacturing industries to better support decision-making processes in planning corporate strategies for R&D. The methodology has been developed within the FORMAT consortium, gathering partners from both industry and academia in a Marie-Curie EU funded project of the 7th Framework Programme - IAPP PEOPLE. The methodology is intentionally shaped as a generic one, so as to foster its adoption by the wider audience, but it suggests the adoption of several TRIZ techniques and models to support the forecast. Its exemplary application in the field of forming technologies for domestic refrigerators aims at showing its potential and viability in a real industrial context. The paper is supplemented by a case study in the white goods manufacturing (forming techniques for the inner liners of domestic refrigerators).
Abstract: This paper proposes a new modelling framework aimed at overcoming the current limitations of existing techniques for the representation of products and processes within a Technology Forecasting study. Starting from the review of the available modelling approaches, the authors define system requirements as the key elements to represent both drivers and barriers for the evolution of technical systems, analysed in the context of a business process. The new proposal allows such requirements to be mapped in an integrated and scalable model connecting finished goods with the related business processes, so as to collect the knowledge from different experts and stakeholders in a unified and manageable description, thus reducing the risks due to uncertain and partial representation. The paper presents also an example of application in the field of pharmaceutical tablet manufacturing, focusing on the industrial processes requiring the granulation of pharmaceutical powders. An in-depth discussion about the emerged criticalities supports the definition of further developments to make this approach more repeatable and suitable for Technology Forecasting methodologies.
Keywords: Decision making | Process model | Product model | Technology evolution | Technology forecasting
Abstract: This paper aims at exploring the opportunities coming from the application of the OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems as a means for mapping the design steps of engineering students coping with design problems. Both the design rationale and the design protocol can be analyzed to support the evaluation of the overall outcomes of students downwards a course on systematic design, considering both the ideas they generate and the process they follow for the ideation. The paper proposes a few improvements for the OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems, so as to adapt it for such a purpose. Some demonstrations of the applicability of the proposed method are presented by means of two different design problems faced by groups of students having homogeneous levels of expertise and engineering skills. The results, got through a research method here detailed, highlight that the proposed approach allows the evaluators/analysts to carry out the time-demanding protocol studies with significant savings in time. Moreover, this model allows the definition of appropriate metrics to carry out homogenous and more objective evaluations among students.
Keywords: Design rationale | Design skills | Engineering students evaluation | OTSM-TRIZ Network of Problems | Protocol analysis
Abstract: This paper describes the first outcomes of a joined research project between Politecnico di Milano and Whirlpool Europe aimed at establishing a systematic industrial approach to anticipate technological demands and solutions to manufacture future household appliances, by taking into account emergence, performances and drawbacks of manufacturing technologies. This work adds new elements of analysis to the forecasting approach proposed by the authors in previous publications and updates its metric for classifying Evaluation Parameters with a detailed set of criteria to characterize the outcomes, the drawbacks and the main resources consumption of a generic industrial process. Such set allows a preliminary extraction of information from technical experts, with no specific TRIZ know- how, in order to ease the process of identifying the main barriers (in TRIZ terms, contradictions) limiting the development of current technologies and/or their substitution with new industrial processes. The original content of the paper is clarified by means of a case study related to an application of the methodology concerning the foaming process of domestic refrigerators.
Keywords: ARIZ | Computer-aided innovation | Network of contradictions | Problem complexity
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