Decision making in product design – bridging the gap between inception and reality

Julian Lindley, Richard Adams, Les Wynn

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Product Design in the modern world is a complex multifaceted discipline comprising of many skills and applications. It also operates in cross-disciplinary contexts both in direct teams but also contributing to strategic business of manufacturers, government/councils and not for profit organisations. It is no longer a purely creative problem solving activity where a good idea or innovation is enough to push forward a new product. For the majority of the design profession the days of design on the back of an envelope are gone. Today design is a structured activity with recognizable and repeatable methodologies and processes. Within this the profession is acknowledging and aligning with the principles of business management. A consequence is that designers are capable of undertaking ever increasingly complex challenges. Education needs to train designers to recognise and operate in these complex situations. As a response Universities now include project or design management within curriculum.
‘The new programme should equip the students with not only the ability to design, manufacture and test design solutions; but also with a firm knowledge of business strategy’ [1]
However the authors have recognized a gap within the profession and education for a more structured and validated approach to decision making within the design process. This paper outlines a pilot study within a student project whereby professional decision making tools are introduced to final year students and used to validate selection of appropriate designs from initial concepts against a hierarchy of criteria.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2017
EventEngineering & Product Design Education 17 - OSLO AND AKERSHUS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF APPLIED SCIENCES, , Oslo, Norway
Duration: 27 Sept 20179 Mar 2018


ConferenceEngineering & Product Design Education 17


  • project management, decision making, selection tools


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