About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 918-926
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain

AN EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE THROUGH AN EXPLORATIVE DESIGN PROCESS: FORM GIVING, MODE OF USE AND TECHNOLOGY

V. Ferraro, R. Gorno, L. Rampino

Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
This paper goes over an educational activity held at the Design Faculty of Politecnico di Milano in the Design& Engineering Master Course.
Design Engineering MC is an inter-faculty course where teachers coming from both engineering and design fields work together in order to make students aware of the different skills that play the principal roles in a design product development.
According to the authors, a designer can approach a project handling three different levels:
• Form: the designer starts the design process considering the morphological attributes of the product, in order to define a new form (level of composition) and a new language (level of significance) for it.
• Mode of Use: the designer starts the design process considering the mode of use of the product, in order to define the non-satisfied needs that could be better fulfilled with new usage ways and/or new functions..
• Technology: the designer starts the design process considering the possibility of applying a new (process or product) technology to a product that does not presently use it. .
The teaching experience demonstrates the usefulness of such a distinction: indeed, to define a level as overriding helps design students to avoid having too much difficulties in making the several choices which characterize every design process. In fact, to choose a level means also to define which are the priorities of the project. Obviously, since industrial design tends to give a synthesis answer to the several issues related to new product development, in many cases it is difficult to define a level as overriding.
In relation to this consideration, the need for an educational approach aimed at making students aware of the three levels and able to master them becomes evident. In the present paper this approach is investigated.
During a design studio held at the first year of Master Degree the teachers gave the students a number of cultural tools useful to develop good design solutions.
The design studio divided the activities in three exercises aimed at:
1. generating the form of the product;
2. acquiring cultural tools for reasoning on the issue of how to use the product
3. simulating a design product development

In the first exercise students were asked to analyse an existing product according to a list of the formal features defining a product character (i.e. geometry, composition, materials, texture etc…)The goal was to apply the character of the analyzed product to a new one in order to generate a new form and at the same time to give it the same language.
The second exercise was characterized by an analysis of products affordances using Gaver framework in order to identify false and hidden affordances. The final objective was to redesign the product with specific reference to problems encountered in the analysis, improving the usability of the product ensuring an adequate feedback.
The last phase was focused on the design of a manual flex point driver in order to allow the students to apply to an entire design process the knowledge acquired during the first two steps (the form of the product and affordances), this time also considering the level of technology.
The aim was to handle in the best way the bonds generated by each of the three levels, trying to obtain the best compromise solution. In this paper feedbacks from students are also summarized.
@InProceedings{FERRARO2011ANE,
author = {Ferraro, V. and Gorno, R. and Rampino, L.},
title = {AN EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE THROUGH AN EXPLORATIVE DESIGN PROCESS: FORM GIVING, MODE OF USE AND TECHNOLOGY},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {918-926}}
TY - CONF
AU - V. Ferraro AU - R. Gorno AU - L. Rampino
TI - AN EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE THROUGH AN EXPLORATIVE DESIGN PROCESS: FORM GIVING, MODE OF USE AND TECHNOLOGY
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 918
EP - 926
ER -
V. Ferraro, R. Gorno, L. Rampino (2011) AN EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE THROUGH AN EXPLORATIVE DESIGN PROCESS: FORM GIVING, MODE OF USE AND TECHNOLOGY, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 918-926.
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