From PhD to IDSA: Case Studies in the Evaluation and Development of Design Tools
Senior Lecturer in Industrial Design
Loughborough University, Loughborough Design School
The use of design tools forms a central component of academic study and professional practice in industrial design, with applications ranging from 3D modeling software to color specification. This paper discusses two case studies in which PhD research was used to inform education and professional practice on developments in tool use. The first case study, supported by Hewlett Packard USA, evaluated the use of the Tablet PC as a mobile design studio that could integrate sketching with other core design activities, such as computer aided design and data collection via Web browsing. The second case study, supported by the Industrial Designers Society of America, developed a globally distributed card-based tool (iD Cards) to support understanding and communication in the use of design representations. While these studies have contrasting aims, they are linked through the use of substantive academic research and defined methodology to generate credible outcomes.