Visual Thinking for Engineers


[MUSIC PLAYING] Some people really think
about it as this artifact. You design an automobile,
or you design a robot. Some people think of design as
more of an artistic endeavour. You design a building
or some beautiful object that people really
get excited about. I think about design more
as a process that can help you create impactful outcomes. I think about early
stage design when a firm is trying to formulate
a design vision that can be carried through to a
successful design outcome. This should involve determining
needs, generating solutions, and evaluating options. This process is sometimes
known as design thinking, and it’s both
powerful and evolving. My work takes a
research-driven approach by capturing and analyzing
the representations that are created by
designers and engineers, such as sketches, CAD models,
prototypes, and even language. This stage is ambiguous,
but the impact is clear. About 70% of the
cost of a design is fixed in the first
30% of the cycle. The choices you make
and the ideas you generate really constrain
what you can do later on in terms of cost
and also resources and the impact of your design. The stakes are pretty high. One of the things that’s most
important about the design process, especially in the early
stages, is that it’s iterative. It’s cyclical. So you come up with an idea. You build it out. You test it, either
with users or to see if it’s functional performance
is what you thought, and you come back around. And you continue that
process until you reach a design for a vision
that you’re happy with. We’ve found that
sketching, particularly dimension sketching, early on
makes a big impact on design outcome versus sketching later. We’ve found that
making prototypes is very crucial to the process. But in particular,
creating simple prototypes means a better
outcome in the end rather than too complicated. And then getting feedback
on prototypes and sketches matters a lot. We’ve also looked at how
different representations of a design when they’re
presented to users for feedback can make a difference. So it’s important to
pick the right way to get feedback from users. We’re taking the results
of all of this research and we’re bringing it out to
organizations around the world. Now, my findings are being
used by a number of companies– places like Ferrari, IBM–
to improve the way they do early stage design. For example, I’m working
with NASA right now. What I found is
that there are ways that they can design
better and more efficiently with better results. We live in a time with
a lot of big issues, system-level issues, that can’t
be addressed in ways that we’ve done before. So we have environmental
issues, energy issues, we have a massively
growing population, and these really
require you think in a synthetic, big picture way,
and design is really tailored to that way of thinking. [MUSIC PLAYING]

5 thoughts on “Visual Thinking for Engineers

  1. i am student in Mechanical engineering at taibah university in Saudi Arabia, and after i saw this video i wish if i could be at MIT.
    This is my dream.

  2. Guys, what are the best software for meche. Some say it's hypermesh ,so I want to know an answer from mit…. please do respond me?

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