Extending Sketches, Drawings, Models and Prototypes to Define a Taxonomy of 35 Design Representations for Improved Communication during New Product Development.
Dr. Mark Evans, Eujin Pei and Dr. R. Ian Campbell
Department of Design & Technology | Loughborough University, United Kingdom
Today’s highly competitive global markets have highlighted the importance of industrial design and engineering design collaboration in new product development (NPD). NPD can be considered as a sequence of activities beginning with identifying market opportunities and ending with manufacture and sales (Pahl and Beitz 1996). To avoid costly rework and to reduce development time, effective externalisation of design concepts amongst NPD team members is crucial (Alisantoso et al. 2006). The ideas that initially take place in the form of language, graphics or actual objects (Goldschmidt 1997) must be externalised without unnecessary ambiguity if they are to be shared with others (Pipes 2007, Eissen and Steur 2008). The absence of a common language and mutual understanding and the ambiguous loosely defined nature of some representations has led to miscommunication, misinterpretation and ineffective working practice (Goel 1995). The aim of this research was to provide a more effective, consistent and clear understanding of design representations. The paper considers the nature of design representations and then explores the development, structure and content of the taxonomy of design representations that are employed by industrial designers and engineering designers during NPD. The taxonomy is finally appraised through a four-way evaluation.