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Engineering meets creativity: a study on a creative tool to design new connections

Tore Bleuzé (UGent) , Maria-Cristina Ciocci (UGent) , Jan Detand (UGent) and Patrick De Baets (UGent)
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Abstract
Designers and engineers in practice can rely on a comprehensive assortment of physical connections such as bolts, adhesives, and snap joints to design a product. However, future materials, processes, and technologies lead to other requirements. Designers must be creative to find new solutions that meet the new requirements. The Design to Connect method presented in this paper was developed to support designers in the ideation of new connections in products. It provides inspiration to expand their design space and support them to generate more ideas. The tool contains 46 cards. Each card contains a heuristic and is illustrated with an inspirational example. Six design drivers can be used to select a subset of the most relevant inspiration cards for a specific context. The tool and the framework are both evaluated in an experimental setup with a relevant sample of novice designers with different educational backgrounds. The results demonstrate that the participants generate significantly higher number of ideas and explore a larger solution space when they apply the tool cards. Selecting a set of relevant inspiration cards in advance does not have a significant effect on the amount of ideas or the size of the solutions space. Furthermore, most participants prefer a less structured approach in their ideation and those with a more abstract level of education explored more ideas and a larger solution space compared to participants with a more practical education.
Keywords
ideation, design tool, connections, divergent thinking

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Bleuzé, Tore, Maria-Cristina Ciocci, Jan Detand, and Patrick De Baets. 2014. “Engineering Meets Creativity: a Study on a Creative Tool to Design New Connections.” International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation 2 (3): 1–21.
APA
Bleuzé, T., Ciocci, M.-C., Detand, J., & De Baets, P. (2014). Engineering meets creativity: a study on a creative tool to design new connections. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DESIGN CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION, 2(3), 1–21.
Vancouver
1.
Bleuzé T, Ciocci M-C, Detand J, De Baets P. Engineering meets creativity: a study on a creative tool to design new connections. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DESIGN CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION. 2014;2(3):1–21.
MLA
Bleuzé, Tore et al. “Engineering Meets Creativity: a Study on a Creative Tool to Design New Connections.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DESIGN CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION 2.3 (2014): 1–21. Print.
@article{4329095,
  abstract     = {Designers and engineers in practice can rely on a comprehensive assortment of physical connections such as bolts, adhesives, and snap joints to design a product. However, future materials, processes, and technologies lead to other requirements. Designers must be creative to find new solutions that meet the new requirements. The Design to Connect method presented in this paper was developed to support designers in the ideation of new connections in products. It provides inspiration to expand their design space and support them to generate more ideas. The tool contains 46 cards. Each card contains a heuristic and is illustrated with an inspirational example. Six design drivers can be used to select a subset of the most relevant inspiration cards for a specific context. The tool and the framework are both evaluated in an experimental setup with a relevant sample of novice designers with different educational backgrounds. The results demonstrate that the participants generate significantly higher number of ideas and explore a larger solution space when they apply the tool cards. Selecting a set of relevant inspiration cards in advance does not have a significant effect on the amount of ideas or the size of the solutions space. Furthermore, most participants prefer a less structured approach in their ideation and those with a more abstract level of education explored more ideas and a larger solution space compared to participants with a more practical education.},
  author       = {Bleuzé, Tore and Ciocci, Maria-Cristina and Detand, Jan and De Baets, Patrick},
  issn         = {2165-0349},
  journal      = {INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DESIGN CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION},
  keywords     = {ideation,design tool,connections,divergent thinking},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {1--21},
  title        = {Engineering meets creativity: a study on a creative tool to design new connections},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21650349.2014.892217},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2014},
}

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