Research

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Should there be a method to the madness?

We at Design Factory get frequently asked about what is our method. There seems to be a strong assumption that there is a “DF method” that can be summarized in a few clear steps. Our answer – that there isn’t one –  seems often to be met with surprise, confusion or even disappointment. So why do we not have a clear-cut method or process… and should we?

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Miko LaaksoShould there be a method to the madness?
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Does early ideation result in collaborative fixation within a development team?

Various types of creative sessions are typically held early on in projects to help design teams in exploring the solution space and ensuring a wide consideration of potential design directions. However, research has shown that such a group situation might result in fixation effects from exposure to ideas and perceptions of other group members. Miko, Tua and Senni studied how an early ideation workshop affects the range of perspectives to the problem and ideas for solutions present within interdisciplinary teams.

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Miko LaaksoDoes early ideation result in collaborative fixation within a development team?
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Balancing between divergence and convergence in design creativity research

Greetings from the design creativity research community, convening at Atlanta at the 4th International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC)! Read on for some interesting results from a place where laughter yoga, standardized tests, and prototyping facilities in actual castles all co-exist in peace.

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Tua BjörklundBalancing between divergence and convergence in design creativity research
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Soft skills, hard questions

We have a saying at Aalto University Design Factory that even the best processor is useless if the user interface prevents taking advantage of it. Successfully cultivating soft skills – the interface of expertise – requires asking some tough questions about priorities, measurements and Californian experiments.

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Tua BjörklundSoft skills, hard questions
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Research finds opportunities for improvement in energy saving design

Most work in sustainable product development focuses on energy and resource efficient design. While this is a valuable and worthy tactic, it does not always result in actual energy saving during device use. This is because users may not want to, or know how to, use the device in an energy efficient manner. In fact, over 30% of device energy consumption can be determined by user behavior, not just the design itself. Profs. Katja & Kevin, alongside colleagues at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), have developed a way to help designers to better understand and integrate user behavior with energy efficient design goals.

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adminResearch finds opportunities for improvement in energy saving design
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New publications fresh out of the oven!

Designers of complex systems such as large engines, airplanes, or manufacturing systems have unique struggles when compared to designers designing simpler and smaller systems. Any decision will have a system wider hard-to-understand impact, the system lifecycle can be decades, which means a series of expected and unexpected changes, etc. In recent work Prof. Katja with colleagues from Seoul National University have been tackling this issue from product architecture point of view. What should a system architect take into the account when deciding on the system elements, their connectivity and modularity?

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Tua BjörklundNew publications fresh out of the oven!