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CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

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Creativity is an important subject in many areas, regarding design. Engineering Designers has 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. We study several creative learning approaches from various perspectives and then we propose an implementation model into the engineering academic programs

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CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

  1. 1. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez, M.M. Espinosa UNED-ETSII (Ingeniería del Diseño)
  2. 2. THE NEED OF CREATIVITY FOR ENGINEERING DESIGN There is a common perception that engineers aren´t creative, or even that they do not need it. On the contrary, creativity is essential for engineering . A creative strategy is then the adequate way for solving engineering problems and for industrial innovation. Creativity is a key factor in engineering design problems, since concept ideation to detail as well as manufacturing. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  3. 3. THE NEED OF CREATIVITY FOR ENGINEERING DESIGN There are various creative techniques.These can be identified from various perspectives: logical, intuitive or visual: · Logical (e.g. TRIZ) · Intuitive (e.g. Brainstorming ) · Visual e.g. (Mind Mapping, Brainsketching) Apart of creative methods, Visual thinking is a practice of using pictures to solve problems, clearly linked with creativity. For engineering design practice, visual thinking is essential: Design Engineers think visually in a great amount, using visual tools (Mind maps, sketching) to think, communicate and store their ideas. Sketching is considered the principal approach by which design engineers externalize their concepts and where the drawings provide visual clues for refinement and revision. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  4. 4. CREATIVE BEHAVIOR OF DESIGN ENGINEERS To see how creativity is present on real engineering design practice, we made a comparative study with engineering professionals and industrial designers about what conceptual design resources they apply, including creative methods applied and tools required for creative design tasks. Martin-Erro, 2014) Results of these studies showed that creative behavior of design engineers is not as desired, less than industrial designers, and in some manner engineers applies improperly. Engineers applies Visual thinking methods, lower than industrial designers: sketching practice is less used than designers. In addition, Engineers applies CAD in conceptual design stages, when creativity plays a key role, more frequently than sketching [Martin-Erro, A., Espinosa-Escudero, M., Dominguez-Somonte, M.. (2015). METHODS AND TOOLS APPLIED ON CONCEPTUAL DESIGN PROCESS: RESULTS OF AN EMPIRICAL STUDY. DYNA, 90(4). 380-385. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6036/7212 CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  5. 5. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING EDUCATION Causes of this deficient creative behavior by engineers can be allocated in engineering education: as engineers do not apply properly creative techniques or adopt a creative attitude is because they are not taught how to do that. Presence of creativity at engineering schools is scarce or does not exist : engineering curricula tends to enhance analytical subjects and a little creative thinking. Creativity is not valued in engineering education Court (1998) (Kazerounian (2007). The point is that the small percentage of decisions made by a design engineer on the basis of the kind of calculation he has spent so much time to learn (Ferguson, 1992). A. W. Court, “Improving creativity in engineering design education,” Eur. J. Eng. Educ., vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 141–154, 1998 Ferguson, E. S. (1994). Engineering and the Mind’s Eye. The MIT Press. Kazerounian, K., & Foley, S. (2007). Barriers to creativity in engineering education: A study of instructors and students perceptions. Journal of Mechanical Design, 129(7), pp. 761–768. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  6. 6. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING EDUCATION Engineering curricula makes students to be mathematically stronger, but less on graphics and visual thinking skills. Decrease in teaching hours for graphical subjects in modern engineering curricula (Mataix, 2014). Moreover, Graphical subjects, even pays more attention to metric geometry and CAD training, and so sketching practice is being totally displaced by modern computer-aided tools. Our perception is that sketching is not valued as a powerful visual thinking tool, and seen as an old drawing method. J. Mataix Sanjuán, “La habilidad espacial en los estudiantes de carreras técnicas. Desarrollo, medida y evaluación en el Marco europeo de Educación Superior,” 2014. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  7. 7. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING EDUCATION Consequences are a limited experience of creative and critical thinking and analysis in, for example, identifying needs to address and problems to solve, and in making critical judgements on current issues with the risk to have “mediocre engineers” Ferguson, 1992). The abuse of CAD means a decline in engineers spatial abilities which implies on Visual Thinking capabilities to mentally analyze three-dimensional engineering problems. Authors identify certain restrictions that CAD tools imposes on the designer during early design (Taborda 2012) (Veisz, 2012) E. S. Ferguson, Engineering and the Mind’s Eye, 4th ed., 1 vols. The MIT Press, 1994. E. Taborda, S. Chandrasegaran, L. Kisselburgh, T. Reid, and K. Ramani, “Enhancing visual thinking in a toy design course using freehand sketching,” in ASME international design engineering technical conferences and computers and information in engineering conference, 2012. D. Veisz, E. Z. Namouz, S. Joshi, and J. D. Summers, “Computer-aided design versus sketching: An exploratory case study,” Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf., vol. 26, no. 03, pp. 317–335, 2012. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  8. 8. APPROACHES TO INCLUDE CREATIVITY ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION Approaches Badran (2007) proposes a systematic approach to help develop the possible courses and activities that would enhance creativity and innovation skills and capabilities of a graduate engineer Baillie (2002) presents a model to consider the 'creative potential' in order to promote discussion about appropriate education developments that may be incorporated within or be additional to an engineering programme. Torrance (1977) recommends several guidelines to promote creativity at lessons (Before and after). Cases of inclusion of creative aspects at engineering curricula: Olin College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Stoufer, 2004), as well as other cited by Bull, Montgomery, & Baloche (1995). Badran, I. (2007). Enhancing creativity and innovation in engineering education. European Journal of Engineering Education, 32(5), pp. 573–585. Torrance, E. P. (1977). Creativity in the Classroom; What Research Says to the Teacher. Baillie, C. (2002). Enhancing creativity in engineering students. Engineering Science & Education Journal, 11(5), pp. 185–192 Bull, K. S., Montgomery, D., & Baloche, L. (1995). Teaching creativity at the college level: A synthesis of curricular components perceived as important by instructors. Creativity Research Journal, 8(1), pp. 83–89 Stouffer, W. B., Russell, J. S., & Oliva, M. G. (2004). Making the strange familiar: Creativity and the future of engineering education. In Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition pp. 20–23. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  9. 9. Richards, L. G. (1998). Stimulating creativity: teaching engineers to be innovators. In Frontiers in Education Conference, 1998. FIE’98. 28th Annual 3, pp. 1034–1039. Masi, J. V. (1989). Teaching the process of creativity in the engineering classroom. In Frontiers in Education Conference, 1989. pp. 288–292 APPROACHES TO INCLUDE CREATIVITY ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION Approaches (II) Richards (1998) offer several courses aimed at fostering creative and entrepreneurial thinking- ranging from the first year to the graduate level at the University of Virginia. Masi (1989) studied the incorporation of the process of creativity in four different courses, (materials science, electron devices, electro optics, and electrical machinery). CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  10. 10. APPROACHES TO INCLUDE CREATIVITY ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION We also identified some inclusion of creative subject on engineering educational programmes. These are mainly on last courses, and not related to engineering design, but more oriented to problem-solving according to new trends on enterprises creativity and innovation. State of Graphical literacy remains the same, as we have not identified any effort to implement sketching practice nor to enhance spatial abilities. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  11. 11. APPROACHES TO INCLUDE CREATIVITY ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION Teaching creative methods One of the major difficulties in teaching design is that of creativity and the selection of the appropriate tools and techniques Court (1998). Creative resources, Richards (1998) suggest that students must learn how to capture and manipulate ideas, and so it is necessary to provide tools for creating: physical such as a design notebook, a reflective journal, and a sketchbook are valuable tools. Computer programs for solid (3D) modeling, analysis, simulation, and visualization can be used to capture, manipulate, and communicate our ideas. Cognitive methods: ways of thinking, perceiving and evaluating information. A. W. Court, “Improving creativity in engineering design education,” Eur. J. Eng. Educ., vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 141–154, 1998 Richards, L. G. (1998). Stimulating creativity: teaching engineers to be innovators. In Frontiers in Education Conference, 1998. FIE’98. 28th Annual 3, pp. 1034–1039. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  12. 12. APPROACHES TO INCLUDE CREATIVITY ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION Approaches based on creative practice Better than theoretical aspects on creativity, it is more useful to focus into a practical perspective: Problem Based Learning: Problem-solving process calls the need for creativity, engineering students shall nurture creativity through its practice. Some creative learning models are based on systematic problem solving tasks (Liu, 2004). Project Based Learning: Force engineering students make connections between courses and also to seek out and solve problems at the boundaries of the engineering disciplines. Increase critical thinking and self-direction, Higher comprehension and better skill development, self-motivated attitudes, enhanced awareness of the benefits of teamwork and a more active and enjoyable learning process. Design courses and including design activities: Reported cases of University of Virginia (design project courses) by Richards (1998), as well as of University of Nevada-Reno and advanced systems engineering students of the U.S. Naval Academy. Engineering programs in Hong Kong introduced design subjects (Siu, 2012). Liu, Z., & Schonwetter, D. J. (2004). Teaching creativity in engineering. International Journal of Engineering Education, 20(5), pp. 801–808. Siu, K. W. M. (2012). Promoting creativity in engineering programmes: difficulties and opportunities. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 46, pp. 5290–5295. Richards, L. G. (1998). Stimulating creativity: teaching engineers to be innovators. In Frontiers in Education Conference, 1998. FIE’98. 28th Annual 3, pp. 1034–1039. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  13. 13. APPROACHES TO INCLUDE CREATIVITY ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION Exercise Visual Thinking and spatial abilities: It is crucial to familiarize visual thinking to students, which means that they improve their fluency and flexibility in the idea generation. Early approaches were made by Standford University by a visual thinking specfic course. Teaching Visual tecnhiques: Mind Mapping, Sketching Enhancing spatial abilities: Apart of specific visual tools for creative practice, it is important to recover spatial abilities which are necessary to a mental visual representation of design ideas. Mataix proposed several specific courses. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  14. 14. APPROACHES TO INCLUDE CREATIVITY ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION Computer-aided tools oriented to creative work as an alternative to CAD To correct the unproper use CAD, we consider current state-of-the-art computer applications more adequate for creative work: Computer-aided sketching, closest approach to a creative computer-aided tool, is, however the less matured, achieving interesting goals just at academic environment . Digital sculpting, Alcaide-Marzal (2013) reported experiences with design engineering students at the Valencia Polythecnical University in the use of digital sculpting for creative design tasks. Free solid modeling: Tools such as Sketchup, widely used in architecture and Industrial design. Currently, these systems cannot substitute traditional sketching, but means an interesting spot to quickly implement design ideas into a computational environment. Alcaide-Marzal, J., Diego-Más, J. A., Asensio-Cuesta, S., & Piqueras-Fiszman, B. (2013). An exploratory study on the use of digital sculpting in conceptual product design. Design Studies, 34(2), pp. 264–284. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  15. 15. APPROACHES TO INCLUDE CREATIVITY ON ENGINEERING EDUCATION A Model for creative fostering on engineering curricula We propose an implementation model to incorporate creativity into the engineering curricula. The model is based on creative enhancing by projects and mostly oriented to visual thinking practice. Enhancement of proper use of computer applications must be applied to educational programs as well as the enhancement of traditional tools, such as sketching, to foster visual thinking, and dihedral drawing on paper and pencil, according to enhance spatial abilities, trying to let student to think visually in 3D. • Introductory Syllabous courses at the freshman level, about creativity methods and tools. • Inclusion of sketching practice on graphic expression course´s content, as well as descriptive geometry using paper and pencil. • Complement CAD training with new computer aided design tools, more applied to creative practice such as Sketchup, Digital sculpting or Sketchbook. • From the second year to later, apply creativity to real design processes to face some design problems, by design project courses which follows PBL principles. Special attention shall be paid to sketching practice, mind mapping and so schemes to these problem-solving tasks. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa
  16. 16. CONCLUSSIONS The importance of implementing creativity education in the classroom has not been fully recognized, being an open issue for universities: engineering curricula pays more attention to analytical subjects than creative ones. Some efforts were identified to include creative aspects of engineering curricula. In most of the cases, visual thinking aspects are few considered, by our point of view, this must be taken into account, regardless that visual thinking is paramount in engineering design. We identified trends of including creative subjects on current engineering curricula. Although it is not as optimal, we feel a change of attitude by academia to consider the value of creativity. Our effort is to gradually begin to a new educational paradigm on engineers education. CREATIVITY AND ENGINEERING DESIGN: ANALYSIS INTO THE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT A. Martin-Erro, M. Dominguez , M.M. Espinosa

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