The use of systematic and heuristic methods in the basic design cycle: A comparative survey of students' method usage

O. Person, Jaap Daalhuizen, V. Gattol

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In the present paper, we study the reported use of systematic and heuristic methods for 304 students enrolled in a master-level course on design theory and methodology. What to teach design and engineering students about methods is an important topic for discussion. One reason for this is that the experiences of design educators when using methods in their teaching do not always sit well with how methods are portrayed in the literature. Based on self-reports of the students, we study the use of systematic and heuristic methods for the five activities in the basic design cycle: (1) analysis, (2) synthesis, (3) simulation, (4) evaluation, and (5) decision-making. The results of our study suggest that systematic and heuristic methods fulfil different roles for the students when designing. The students reported to use heuristic methods significantly more for synthesis, while they reported to use systematic methods significantly more for evaluation and decision-making. In understanding the potential origin of these use practices, we call for more in-depth studies on method usage in design, for instance related to the role of preference and knowledge on systematic and heuristic methods usage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign Education - Growing Our Future, Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Editors Ahmed Kovacevic, John Lawlor, Brian Parkinson
PublisherDesign Society
Publication date2013
Pages190-196
ISBN (Print)978-1-904670-42-1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 5 Sep 20136 Sep 2013
Conference number: 15
http://www.iepde.org/epde13/

Conference

Conference15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education
Number15
CountryIreland
CityDublin
Period05/09/201306/09/2013
Internet address

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