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Lucienne Blessing Université du Luxembourg Autumn Lecture-Workshop series University of Bath, 19 November 2009 DRM, or how to do design research.

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Presentation on theme: "Lucienne Blessing Université du Luxembourg Autumn Lecture-Workshop series University of Bath, 19 November 2009 DRM, or how to do design research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lucienne Blessing Université du Luxembourg Autumn Lecture-Workshop series University of Bath, 19 November 2009 DRM, or how to do design research

2 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing2 Status of design research It is no simple matter to define the contents, the research approach and the community behind research in engineering design. (Cantamessa) It is not easy to see the trends of evolution, to identify landmarks of development, to judge the scientific significance of the various approaches, and to decide on the target fields for investments. (Horvath) Variety of approaches, methods, concepts, terms, Lack of overview of research results (of theory) Lack of use of results in practice Lack of scientific rigour

3 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing3 What is design research? Improving design (product and process) people product process organisationtools & methods Understanding Support micro-economy macro-economy

4 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing4 Aims of design research Aims: the formulation and validation of models and theories about the phenomenon of design, as well as the development and validation of knowledge, methods and tools - founded on these models and theories – to improve the design process (i.e. support industry producing successful products). It is the methodology that makes a topic of investigation scientific. Design research must be scientific in order for the results to have validity in some generic, practical sense. For this, design research has to develop and validate knowledge systematically. This requires a research methodology.

5 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing5 Characteristics of design research Not only aimed at increasing our understanding about design (design-as-is), but also at the use of this understanding to change the actual situation (design-as-should-be). This requires two theories/models: about the existing situation (reference model) and about the desired situation (impact model) Design research includes theory/model development and support development (to get from the existing to the desired situation) Challenge : Designing is a complex activity: many different influencing variables that are strongly interrelated, and both the influencing factors and links between these are dynamic.

6 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing6 Results DRM: A Design Research Methodology Research Clarification DESCRIPTIVE STUDY I PRESCRIPTIVE STUDY DESCRIPTIVE STUDY II Goals Understanding Support Evaluation Empirical data & Analysis Assumption & Experience & Synthesis Empirical data & Analysis Basic method Stages Results Basic method Stages Literature & Experience & Analysis

7 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing7 Research Clarification stage (RC) Role in DRM: identify goals, focus, main research problems, questions and/or hypotheses, the relevant disciplines and areas to be reviewed and those to which to contribute (ARC diagram); develop Initial Reference and Impact Models, i.e., models of the believed existing and desired situations; identify preliminary Success Criteria and Measurable Success Criteria against which to evaluate the outcome of the research;

8 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing8 Network of Influencing Factors Product reliability Maintenance cost Amount of profit Market share + + _ _ _ [A] _ Company image _ _ [A] Research task: Improve reliability of products to improve product performance (increase sales) Two types of network: - Reference Model (existing situation) - Impact Model (desired situation)

9 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing9 Initial (partial) Impact Model

10 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing10 Research Clarification stage (RC) Role in DRM: To identify goals, focus, main research problems, questions and/or hypotheses, the relevant disciplines and areas to be reviewed and those to which to contribute (ARC diagram); To develop Initial Reference and Impact Models, i.e., models of the believed existing and desired situations; To identify preliminary Criteria against which to evaluate the outcome of the research; To provide focus for DS-I stage in finding relevant influencing factors; To provide focus for development of support that addresses those factors that are likely to have the strongest influence and realizes the desired situation; To provide focus for Evaluation stage for evaluating effects of developed support against criteria and goals of the research. Overall research plan + preliminary understanding (Initial Reference and Impact Models)

11 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing11 Results DRM: A Design Research Methodology Research Clarification DESCRIPTIVE STUDY I PRESCRIPTIVE STUDY DESCRIPTIVE STUDY II Goals Understanding Support Evaluation Empirical data & Analysis Assumption & Experience & Synthesis Empirical data & Analysis Basic method Stages Results Basic method Stages Literature & Experience & Analysis

12 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing12 Descriptive Study I Stage (DS-I) Role in DRM to obtain better understanding of existing situation by identifying and clarifying in more detail the factors that influence the preliminary Criteria and the way in which these factors influence the Criteria; to complete the Reference Model including the Success Criteria and Measurable Success Criteria; to suggest the factors (Key Factors) that might be suitable to address in the PS stage, as these are likely to lead to an improvement of the existing situation; to provide a basis for the PS stage for the effective development of support that addresses those factors that have the strongest influence on success, and can be assessed against the Criteria; to provide detail that can be used to evaluate the effects of the developed support in DS-II. Reference Model, Success and Measurable Criteria, Key Factors, Initial Impact model, implications for support development

13 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing13 Reference Model Use of DfR-methods Success Criterion Product reliability Customer satisfaction Market share [1] Price _ _ + 0 [2] Other factors [A] [1] + _ Quality of product Quality of production _ _ [1] Maintenance cost _ + + Warranty cost [4] [3,4] [3] + Operating cost + + _ [3] [5] Measurable Criterion 0 + % of project time left to improve _ Product- specificity of DfR- methods 0 _ + [E] [A] Key Factor

14 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing14 Initial Impact Model

15 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing15 Prescriptive Study stage (PS) Impact model, Intended Support, Actual Support, Support evaluation Role in DRM to use understanding from DS-I (or DS-II) to determine the factors to be addressed in PS (the Key Factors) to improve the existing situation; to develop an Impact Model describing the desired, improved situation expected as a consequence of addressing the selected Key Factors; to select the part of the Impact Model to address and to determine the related Success and Measurable Success Criteria; to develop the Intended Support and to realize this to such a level of detail that an evaluation of its effects can take place against the Measurable Success Criteria; to evaluate the Actual Support with respect to its in-built functionality, consistency, etc., – the Support Evaluation; to develop an Outline Evaluation Plan for DS-II.

16 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing16 + automatically combine idea building blocks support exploration of ideas provide a wide range of ideas + OR Concept B Concept A provide a wide range of ideas automatically combine idea building blocks Success Factor customer satisfaction cost of production Measurable Success Factor profit _ + Key Factor quality of product no. of ideas considered during design [A] [2,3] [3,4] [5] Alternative concepts

17 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing17 Intended Support and Actual Support Intended Support: description of the complete support as envisaged by the researcher. Actual Support: a realisation of the Intended Support for the purpose of evaluation may cover only part of functionality may be implemented in a different way. focuses on the core contribution of the research project, i.e., the core functionality of the Intended Support To develop the Actual Support, it is necessary to start developing an Outline Evaluation Plan. The intended evaluation determines the comprehensiveness of the Actual Support.

18 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing18 Scope of prototype/demonstrator to prove concept functionality of Intended Support functionality of Actual Support core contribution

19 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing19 Descriptive Study II stage (DS-II) Role in DRM To identify whether the support can be used in the situation for which it is intended and whether it does address the factors it is supposed to addressed (Application Evaluation: applicability and usability) To identify whether the support contributes to success, addressing usefulness, implications and side effects (Success Evaluation: usefulness) The whole network has to be addressed to find weak spots. The Reference Model and the Impact Model are also evaluated Application Evaluation, Success Evaluation (Impact and Reference Model evaluations)

20 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing20 % of design time spent on modifications time-to- market number of modifications quality of product amount of profit + satisfaction of customer _ _ _ _ [A] [5] [A] [E] cost of production _ [A] Success Factor Measurable Success Factor quality of design evaluation [A] support problem definition + [A] + + _ _ + Success Evaluation Application Evaluation Support Evaluation Key Factor quality of problem definition Types of evaluation

21 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing21 Effects on the evaluation outcome Gross outcome = Effect of support (net outcome) + Effect of other processes + Effect of evaluation research Rossi: Evaluation: a systematic approach

22 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing22 Results DRM: A Design Research Methodology Research Clarification DESCRIPTIVE STUDY I PRESCRIPTIVE STUDY DESCRIPTIVE STUDY II Goals Understanding Support Evaluation Empirical data & Analysis Assumption & Experience & Synthesis Empirical data & Analysis Basic method Stages Results Basic method Stages Literature & Experience & Analysis

23 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing23 Types of Design Research

24 University of Bath, 2009Lucienne Blessing24 Key points DRM emphasises the need for formulating success as well as measurable criteria; the importance of descriptive studies to increase our understanding of design products and processes to inform the development of design support; the systematic development of design support; the different types of evaluation necessary to assess the developed support in the light of the aims the different possible types of research projects

25 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION You must learn from the mistakes of others. You can't possibly live long enough to make them all yourself. Sam Levenson, teacher and comedian


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