Creativity from constraints in engineering design: Lessons learned at Coloplast

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Creativity from constraints in engineering design: Lessons learned at Coloplast. / Onarheim, Balder.

In: Journal of Engineering Design, Vol. 23, No. 4, 2012, p. 323-336.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2012Researchpeer-review

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@article{8adad17aec4a436d823dd2785dfd0a51,
title = "Creativity from constraints in engineering design: Lessons learned at Coloplast",
abstract = "This paper investigates the role of constraints in limiting and enhancing creativity in engineering design. Based on a review of literature relating constraints to creativity, the paper presents a longitudinal participatory study from Coloplast A/S, a major international producer of disposable medical equipment. At Coloplast, constraints played a fundamental role and the observations show the important, dual role of constraints in terms of being a limitation and a prerequisite for creativity. Too few or too many constraints had a negative impact on creativity, whereas the formulation, rationale and ownership of formal constraints played a crucial role in defining their influence on creativity - along with the tacit constraints held by the designers. The designers were found to be highly constraint focused, and four main creative strategies for constraint manipulation were observed: blackboxing, removal, introducing and revising. Constraints introduced late in a project contributed to the generation of new solutions to old problems, and existing solutions were creatively adopted to satisfy new constraints. This paper recommends creative constraint-handling strategies, as well as identifying potential directions for future research on the relationship between creativity and constraints. {\circledC} 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.",
author = "Balder Onarheim",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1080/09544828.2011.631904",
language = "English",
volume = "23",
pages = "323--336",
journal = "Journal of Engineering Design",
issn = "0954-4828",
publisher = "CRC Press/Balkema",
number = "4",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Creativity from constraints in engineering design: Lessons learned at Coloplast

AU - Onarheim, Balder

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - This paper investigates the role of constraints in limiting and enhancing creativity in engineering design. Based on a review of literature relating constraints to creativity, the paper presents a longitudinal participatory study from Coloplast A/S, a major international producer of disposable medical equipment. At Coloplast, constraints played a fundamental role and the observations show the important, dual role of constraints in terms of being a limitation and a prerequisite for creativity. Too few or too many constraints had a negative impact on creativity, whereas the formulation, rationale and ownership of formal constraints played a crucial role in defining their influence on creativity - along with the tacit constraints held by the designers. The designers were found to be highly constraint focused, and four main creative strategies for constraint manipulation were observed: blackboxing, removal, introducing and revising. Constraints introduced late in a project contributed to the generation of new solutions to old problems, and existing solutions were creatively adopted to satisfy new constraints. This paper recommends creative constraint-handling strategies, as well as identifying potential directions for future research on the relationship between creativity and constraints. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

AB - This paper investigates the role of constraints in limiting and enhancing creativity in engineering design. Based on a review of literature relating constraints to creativity, the paper presents a longitudinal participatory study from Coloplast A/S, a major international producer of disposable medical equipment. At Coloplast, constraints played a fundamental role and the observations show the important, dual role of constraints in terms of being a limitation and a prerequisite for creativity. Too few or too many constraints had a negative impact on creativity, whereas the formulation, rationale and ownership of formal constraints played a crucial role in defining their influence on creativity - along with the tacit constraints held by the designers. The designers were found to be highly constraint focused, and four main creative strategies for constraint manipulation were observed: blackboxing, removal, introducing and revising. Constraints introduced late in a project contributed to the generation of new solutions to old problems, and existing solutions were creatively adopted to satisfy new constraints. This paper recommends creative constraint-handling strategies, as well as identifying potential directions for future research on the relationship between creativity and constraints. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

U2 - 10.1080/09544828.2011.631904

DO - 10.1080/09544828.2011.631904

M3 - Journal article

VL - 23

SP - 323

EP - 336

JO - Journal of Engineering Design

JF - Journal of Engineering Design

SN - 0954-4828

IS - 4

ER -