Technology clustering issues: Understanding problems in prediction

Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
7th Biennial International Conference on Technology Education Research: Explorations of best practice in Technology, Design & Engineering Education, 2012, pp. 9 - 18
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Frequently, Industrial Design students at the tertiary level, and Design & Technology students at the secondary level, have similar problems in developing technology based solutions to major projects in their final year. Often they need to make design decisions in relation to clustering 'appropriate' technologies when developing and embodying their design proposals. Technologies have limited life spans and these life spans are getting increasingly shorter. In addition, due to socio-cultural and technological changes these student projects are becoming more complex. Consequently, students will need to understand problems associated with predicting appropriate clusters of technologies in solution development. While this paper will discuss some tools which may assist the designer in the design decision making process in relation to technology clustering, it is argued at irrespective of prediction tools and strategies, which admittedly 'assist' design decision making, they fall short in terms of predicting relationships between technology clusters and the people who would use them. This paper presents the case that major projects being developed by university design students in their final year, and indeed high school D&T students can be supported by mapping strategies. These should address needs issues balanced against developing an appropriate discontinuity between technologies.
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