Innovation, including engineering innovation, is essential for economic growth. Currently, while most design practices in engineering education focus on aspects of “good” technical design, elements of innovation may be neglected. This research investigates design process activities that yield innovative artifacts. Specifically, we examine the types of design activities, their timing, and the associations among each other. Specifically, two research questions are explored. First, what design activities do teams engage in that relate to the innovativeness of the resultant design artifact? Second, how do these design activities impact the succeeding activities across the design process (from problem definition to working prototype (WP))? To explore these questions, 16 senior capstone bioengineering design teams are followed as they advance from initial conceptualization to WP over an average 23 week period. Several significant measures suggest that innovative teams differ from their noninnovative counterparts in terms of what activities they engage in, how much they engage in the particular activities, and in what phase they conduct the activities. Specifically, certain activities utilized in the early phase (e.g., marketing) are essential for innovation. Moreover, in terms of iterations through activities, spending significant time and effort while developing a design, as well as having smooth, rich iterations throughout the process contribute to the innovativeness of the artifact.
An Investigation on the Implications of Design Process Phases on Artifact Novelty
Manuscript received April 7, 2013; final manuscript received August 5, 2014; published online February 18, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Janis Terpenny.
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Ozge Ozaltin, N., Besterfield-Sacre, M., Okudan Kremer, G. E., and Shuman, L. J. (May 1, 2015). "An Investigation on the Implications of Design Process Phases on Artifact Novelty." ASME. J. Mech. Des. May 2015; 137(5): 051001. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4028530
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