Identifying And Reducing Iteration Deficit In Product Design Projects

Design & Technology Association of Australia
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
9th Biennial International Conference on Technology Education Research: Creating contexts for learning in Technology Education, 2016, pp. 208 - 215 (8)
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This paper describes the development of a methodology model that integrates appropriate design theory and research methods, to assess and guide iteration during product design projects that are open-ended, complex; and where the scope of the problem and the range of possible solutions vary widely from the outset. Currently, during such projects worked on by university students, there is evidence of an iteration deficit, meaning that the designer locks onto a typology, interaction feature or form, obsessively, to the detriment of further exploration of the design outcome. We propose a model that can be adapted and presented at the start of the project by the studio leader and then serves as an instrument to guide the designer and identify where and why the iteration deficit may occur; and how to potentially move forward. We have found that iteration deficits occur at particular points in the process and may be mitigated by referring to the model which depicts iteration cycles in association with possible methods, framed by over-arching theory. Developing the mental agility and confidence to manage complex, open-ended design problems is a core task for tertiary design education. We speculate that the model may support the collection of data on iterative design progress during tertiary design projects to inform improvements in professional practice.
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