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Introduction to Design

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What is Design and what is Designing? Generating solutions to problems Making decisions and assessing the outcomes Creating products, devices, processes, or systems To formalize our approach, we develop a framework.

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A Framework for Decision Making Converging-Diverging Thought Framework Converging: decisions that move toward a solution within the design space Diverging: decisions that broaden our design space

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Design Space Possible outcomes given available parameters Variable 1 Variable 2 Limit of variable 1 Limit of variable 2 Local Maxima Restricted search

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Convergent Thought Convergent Design: choices that move toward the optimal solution Convergent Analysis: assessment of the efficacy of the choices made in the design use of engineering assessment techniques, e.g. parametric design Convergent Problem Solving: use of physics, mathematics, or engineering knowledge to produce analytical or predictive results in order to assess the efficacy of the design choices.

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Divergent Thinking Divergent Design: “Brainstorming” Broadening the design space Thinking outside the box Moving beyond the limits of the current design

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Bottle Rockets: A Recapitulation Design a water propelled rocket that travels the farthest distance. Highly constrained Divergent Thinking Rectangular fins Curved fins Hot water Alka-Seltzer tablets Methane

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Bottle Rockets: A Recapitulation Convergent Thinking: Varying the amount of water (convergent design choice) Measuring the distance traveled (convergent analysis technique) Parametric design study (convergent analysis) Water Volume Playdoh Mass Fin Parameter Design Parameters LengthHeight

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Parametric Study Vary one parameter and track behavior. Observations should influence design. Volume Water Distance

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Food for Thought 1. Identify what aspects of the project require/use convergent thinking. Make further delineations between which are convergent problem solving and which are convergent design? Identify and categorize as many as you can. Hint: Generate a list of the decisions that you made and the thought processes that led to those decisions then work from that list. 2. Using the aspects of the project you have already identified above, discuss why the faculty titled the first day of the project – convergent design.

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Food for Thought 3. Does the statement below describe a convergent experiment? Why or why not? “While keeping the fins and the clay the same, vary the amount of water in the rocket, then re-test. Continue until you have several data points.” 4. Assign at least one team member to take notes on the behavior of all the rockets during the launch off paying specific attention to the key parameters discussed above. Do you notice any trends or similarities in rockets that are successful (or unsuccessful)? If so what are they? If not, why do you think you do not see any trends?

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