Conceiving product ideas in an initial and uncertain design situation

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Abstract

As a consequence of the global market’s demand for innovation industrial companies need employees with well-articulated innovation competences. Conceptualisation may be seen as the core activity of innovation: the concept is the new idea, the new initiative, the new organising, or the new approach, which carry innovation. Traditional approaches to conceptualisation are no longer sufficient. Too many engineering designers have practiced or cultivated a one-sided product quality focus and too many believe that creativity can compensate for a lack of knowledge and insight into the users’ perception of quality and value. Too many engineering designers work stereotypically based on an understanding of the physical product as the core of ideation, and use the conception of a “problem” as the point of departure for the design process. The aim of this research work is to create a multisided, dynamic, and explorative view of conceptualisation. We propose an ontology for ideation in an initial and uncertain design situation, and we point out a number of approaches to conceptualisation to break with the traditional way of working. In its present form the paper has to be seen as a speculation. The authors believe that our research work contains an new contribution to theory, and that we have established a strong justification for the ontology, but we have to emphasize that the ontology has not yet been applied by students or in industrial practice. A test and verification of the ontology still remains. Thus, critical questions will be welcome, and comments from readers and the outcome of verification activities will probably result in modifications and adjustments of the proposed ontology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of NordDesign Conference
EditorsMagnus T. Jonsson, Runar Unnthorsson
Number of pages421
Place of PublicationReykjavik, Iceland
PublisherFaculty of Engineering, University of Iceland
Publication date2006
Pages32-41
ISBN (Print)978-9979-9494-9-7
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventNordDesign 2006 - Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 16 Aug 200618 Aug 2006

Conference

ConferenceNordDesign 2006
CountryIceland
CityReykjavik
Period16/08/200618/08/2006

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