CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez, M.M. Espinosa

Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Design Engineering Area (SPAIN)
Creativity is an important subject in many areas, 
regarding design. Engineering Designers have to face several design problems, 
since concept ideation to detail as well as manufacturing. A creative strategy 
will easily solve most of engineering design problems. Visual Thinking is important 
mean for a creative practice on engineering design. There are several studies 
and methods for creativity and engineering design. However, creativity and 
engineering remains as an open question. Engineering professionals do not apply 
creativity as it is desired. A survey study confirmed this lack of creativity 
in the engineering design processes. One of these causes can be allocated into 
the educational phase of engineers. 
Current engineering educational programs are replacing subjects where 
creativity is fostered. One case is the use of Computer Aided Design for tasks 
later performed by sketches. Sketching is a visual thinking tool considered as 
paramount for designers and a proven tool for creative work. Engineering 
students does not often work with sketches and uses computer aided design tools instead. In 
this paper we study several creative methods and tools from various 
perspectives and then we propose an implementation model into the engineering academic programs. In the first part we will discuss the open question of 
creativity on engineering. Need of creativity as well as different creative 
approaches are shown. In the second part we will show a survey study made on some 
engineering professionals. 
In the third part we will analyze this question focusing on the educational stage and in the fourth part a proposal is made to implement creativity on engineering education.