1 University of Cantabria (SPAIN)
2 University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 6312-6317
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.1535
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Undoubtedly, design is an important part of engineering degrees. In our universities, design pedagogy involves terms such as creativity, innovation and assessment. Educators involved in design engineering courses should emphasize these concepts among the students. Therefore, fostering creativity in engineering education is a fundamental task to improve the capabilities of the students to confront with new designs. Problem Based Learning (PBL) is a well-known methodology that meets the necessary requirements to achieve this goal. In this kind of activities, the instructor proposes a design challenge to the students in order to improve the features of a product that already exists in the market. The students have to analyse the product and studying the different alternatives provided by different companies. Thus, it is common to conduct a search of these products to learn about the capabilities, advantages and drawbacks. However, it is clear that reviewing information about other products can affect the design creativity. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that people exposed to an example solution generate fewer ideas than those who were not. This effect is called design fixation because the person try to find a solution close to the solution that they know. In other words, the creativity is constrained by the example or examples they have seen before. However, the study of examples is essential to know existing solutions and it could improve the generation of innovative ideas. This paper examines whether reviewing information about the product is negative because it can affect the design creativity. To this aim, students were divided into groups to carry out the design of a product proposed by the instructors. As part of the work, each group develops a portfolio containing the steps taken in the creativity process. This portfolio contains the number of sources consulted. The relationship between the number of sources and the quality of the solution achieved is presented and discussed in the paper. Based on this information actions to avoid design fixation are proposed.
Design fixation, creativity, idea generation, innovation.