Atkinson Hall 1601 on the UCSD Campus
Driving Early Stage Design Process through Design Representations
Product design and engineering are concerned with the creation of artifacts, from consumer products to complex, large scale engineering systems. This talk considers the processes used to create these artifacts. The impact of the very earliest stages of design process on final outcome is considerable, but its ambiguous nature makes it difficult to model and evaluate, and presents a fundamental challenge in design research. This talk focuses on the key role of design representations in driving the early stages of the design process. It discusses investigations into how the timing, type, and quantity of representations such as sketches, physical prototypes, and other models can be linked to greater likelihood of design success. This approach provides an innovative means to assess both design process and the behavior of the designer. The talk will also present research on the challenges of early stage design in the development of complex engineering systems, particularly in the integration of subsystems. The talk will conclude with future work in early stage design, along with thoughts on design education.
Maria Yang is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Her research is in the preliminary phases of the process of designing both products and complex engineering systems, with a focus on the role of design representations. She is an ASME Fellow, and the recipient of an NSF CAREER award, the ASEE Merryfield Design Award, an ASME Design Theory and Methodology Best Paper Award, the MIT Spira Teaching Award, the MIT MacDonald Award, and the MIT Murman Undergraduate Advising Award. She earned her SB in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and her MS and PhD from Stanford. Dr. Yang served as Director of Design at Reactivity, a Silicon Valley startup now a part of Cisco Systems. She has done research into collaborative design tools at Apple and Lockheed Martin, and user interaction issues at Immersion Corp.