Exploring the Collaboration between Industrial Designers and Engineering Designers in a Handover Situation - Sharing the Product Concept´s Underpinning Logic: ph.d.-project

Projektdetaljer

Beskrivelse

This study focuses on handover situations between industrial designers and engineering designers in product development projects, on a ‘project level’. The handover situation creates a gap between the industrial designers and the engineering designers in the product development process which becomes evident in the processual transition from the product concept to the development of the product. During the conceptual phases, the industrial designers create an underpinning ‘logic’ in order to handle the ambiguity and complexity of the design problem and to guide the creation of the product concept. During the development phase the engineering designers create detailed solutions and/or make the needed changes to the product concept in order to finalize the development of the product. However, as they are unaware of the product concept’s underpinning logic, the engineering designers potentially erode the originally intended design and thus weaken the integration and, consequently, the competitive and financial advantages of integrating industrial design in product development projects. It is, therefore, important for the industrial designers to explicitly emphasize the underpinning logic of the product concept to the engineering designer at the handover. Accordingly, it is an underlying assumption that maintaining the design intent proposed by the industrial designer in the final product, and/or ensuring that changes to the underpinning logic still is in ‘alignment’ with the perspectives vital in the effort to ensure the competitive and financial advantages of integrating industrial design in product developing projects. Moreover, it is assumed that if the engineering designer has an understanding of the underpinning logic of a product concept during the development phases, it would potentially make it possible for the engineering designer to develop detailed solutions, or make changes to the product in line with the design intended by the industrial designer, or give the engineering designer an awareness of when the solutions or changes significantly changes the final product from the intended design.


The research design of the study is divided into two main parts. In the first part, the current situation is investigated based on of six case studies (containing 20 interviews). The analysis of the empirical material indicates that the elements of the underpinning logic of a product concept that are most challenging to communicate and transfer in a handover situation are the elements which relate to the human perspective and go beyond the functionality and technology of the product, and the elements which contain e.g., emotional, symbolic, and social aspects.

In the second part of the study, a ‘support tool’ based on Solution Frame-work to explicitly emphasize the underpinning logic of a product’s concept in a handover situation is tested. The support tool is tested based on a ‘Lab.-study’ which consists of six student projects (that involve professional engineering designers). The analysis of the empirical material indicates that explicitly emphasizing the underpinning logic seems to improve the engineering designer’s ability to understand whether potential production changes are coherent with the product concept’s underpinning logic.

In order to recognize the impact of these findings, they should be connected with the positioning of engineering design and industrial design established in this study. The focus on the contribution of industrial design as primarily concerned with the meaning of the products connected with the underpinning logic provides a different approach to understanding the challenges between industrial designers and engineering designers.
StatusAfsluttet
Effektiv start/slut dato01/11/1331/10/16

Emneord

  • ingeniør