Function-based design is the traditional approach in engineering design theory, proving useful and practical in many cases but showing limitations in others. Affordance-based design is an alternative approach that attempts to address some of function theory’s limitations by focusing attention on the interactions between systems. This paper compares function-based design with affordance-based design by examining their philosophies, tools, abilities, and suitability along a number of dimensions. We conclude that the approaches are compatible and suggest future work to realize their integration.
- Design Engineering Division
- Computers and Information in Engineering Division
A Comparison of Function- and Affordance-Based Design
Wu, C, Ciavola, B, & Gershenson, J. "A Comparison of Function- and Affordance-Based Design." Proceedings of the ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Volume 5: 25th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology; ASME 2013 Power Transmission and Gearing Conference. Portland, Oregon, USA. August 4–7, 2013. V005T06A001. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2013-12349
Download citation file: