Design spectroscopy – we need your views

Design spectroscopy – sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

We have interviewed designers from very different sectors of engineering about the strategies they adopt when they are designing, and we noticed similarities between the design approaches the designers adopt, even if they are from very different sectors. Our hypothesis is that if we can characterise different types of design problem, we can associate design strategies with particular characteristics of design problem.

To aid this characterisation process we are creating a tool that creates a visual ‘fingerprint’ of the design problem which can be matched against reference fingerprints for particular classes of problem – much in the same way as chemists use infra-red spectroscopy to identify unknown compounds by matching their IR transmission spectra against reference sprectra.

We believe that the ability to do this would be of benefit in particular to students to help them emmulate the work of experienced designers.

This sounds really interesting. Is there anyway I can help?

Yes. We need hundreds of engineers to fill in our online questionnaire which we are using to match design problems to design strategies. It should only take five minutes to complete. We are aiming to gather our survey responsese by Friday 16th March, so please go ahead and do the survey now, and share with your friends and colleagues.

Thanks in advance, and watch this space for results.

This work is being done with the support of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

By the way, the image is an emission spectrum of sodium. Spectrum-hp-sodium.jpg is by Skatebiker is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.