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From systematic design process towards teaching product designer's toolkit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 20th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design  Education
Subtitle of host publication 6 & 7 September 2018, Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London, UK
EditorsErik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
PublisherThe Design Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-912254-02-6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2018
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational conference on engineering and product design education -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceInternational conference on engineering and product design education
Period1/01/00 → …


In higher level of engineering education, the training of single development process in the field of product development is no longer sufficient, because our students are employed in such jobs that they need to be able to understand the customer's perspective and the company's business goals in addition to the technical design process. In the past, we taught the systematic design process because it provided a good understanding of product design. The disadvantage was that the student’s user centric, organizational centric, and society centric design methods and skills required in development projects did not grow due to strong focus on the systematic design process. Our purpose is to educate engineering professionals for the future who have a design method toolkit, from which they select tools with apt combination for the future task. The focus of this study is to prototype different learning solution, in which the learning goals and education approach is changed. The learning goal is that every student is skilled with ten methods, familiar with at least 30 methods and is able to find even more methods. The students are trained to identify the key approach of the method and evaluate its suitability for the present task. We use the Educational Design Research (EDR) approach to course design and implementation. In addition, we use the pedagogical content knowledge of product development based on the previous studies. The EDR serves also as a research framework for this study. In the beginning of the course, students are allowed to choose the subject for their product concept. In the first design session, we ask students to explore the desirable properties of their concepts. In the second design session, we make an intervention by presenting “Seven Deadly Sins in product development”. Then we motivate the students by explaining that the methods help to avoid the common pitfalls. In the design studio, descriptions of 30 different methods has been placed on the walls. The methods are grouped according to their purpose to enable efficient choosing. We ask students to choose methods for a toolkit that they can answer to all mentioned common pitfalls. We ask each group to tell why their choices are solving the problematic situation. Students will continue the development work with their chosen methods and they can change methods as the work progresses if they see it necessary. Reflecting is an integral part of the course. We ask how well students think they were successful in developing a product solution and how suitable tools, methods and development process did they succeed in choosing. The results of this approach have been very good. With this approach, we are able to teach students that there are many different product development methods, and students can choose their methods. In the past, we have received feedback from our alumni for some years that, the engineering is not done as it is taught at university. The purpose of this teaching development narrows this gap and thus develops industrial working methods in the long run.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland