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The design cycle model and the design process
"Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.” Steve Jobs, Apple Computer.
1.1.1 Describe how designers use design cycle models to represent the design process.
Design may be described in a variety of ways and degrees of complexity. Some design cycle models are simple and some are more complex. The design process usually consists of successive stages that can be arranged as a systematic cyclical process that eventually converges to produce a solution to a problem.
1.1.2 List the stages of the IB design cycle model (DCM)
The IB DCM is made up of six following stages:
We will use IB design cycle model (DCM)
1.1.3 Describe a design brief.
The design brief is the formal starting point for a new design. Occurs when the designer presents the design to the client. It is a statement of the expectations of the design. The brief does not provide the design solution, but is a statement that sets out:
1.1.4 The identifying or clarifying a need or opportunity stage
The context of the problem is described and a concise brief stated. The design process can begin with a problem, an identified need, a market opportunity, a demand, a desire to add value to an existing product, or a response to opportunities presented by technological developments. The initial design problem is a loose collection of constraints, requirements and possibilities. From this, the designer has to make a coherent pattern. The design brief states the intended outcome and the major constraints within which it must be achieved.
Every designer begins with the identifying of an opportunity and with an idea of how to successfully take advantage of the opportunity. The idea may initiate with an individual or in a meeting or be original or a past success. A designer should foster his idea and ask questions, informally assessing the market and technical feasibility, take advantage of resources, and analyse the outcomes of his need.
1.1.5 Design specification
The design specification justifies the precise requirements of a design. The specification will include a full list of the criteria against which the specification can be evaluated.
Design specifications are the foundation of designing. These steps are used by designers all over no matter what may be the product.
A more detailed PDS can be found here PDS
1.1.6 Describe the analyzing, researching, and specifying requirements stage of the IB design cycle model.
Developing the specification from the brief is an evolving process beginning with an initial set of specifications and culminating in a final product design specification (PDS).
Benefits of analyzing, researching and specifying:
1.1.7 Describe the generating ideas and solutions stage of the IB design cycle model.
Divergent thinking is used to consider ways in which a problem may be solved. The starting point for the generation of ideas should be the design specification, and proposals should be evaluated against this specification, with evidence of relevant research used to rate the ideas in terms of their usefulness. A variety of approaches should be used, and different possibilities explored and analysed, before deciding on the most suitable solution.
As a verb, "to design" refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a product, structure, system, or component. As a noun, "a design" is used for either the final (solution) plan (e.g. proposal, drawing, model, description) or the result of implementing that plan (e.g. object produced, result of the process)
Activity: Pick a topic. Use a blank sheet of paper to jot down any ideas that come to mind. Do not try to control the mind or make critiques of the ideas that you have made ... just keep writing. When done THEN you can review what was written.
1.1.8 Describe the developing the chosen solution stage of the IB design cycle model.
A final concept is developed taking into account the conflicting needs of the manufacturer and the user, and the requirement of the design as set out in the specifications. A complete proposal is developed based upon the research and the designer’s personal ideas. This stage involves detailed drawings (of a style relevant to the task).
These are some of the drawing techniques:
* Isometric drawings
* Single Point Perspective
* Two Point Perspective
This site shows some great Development Sheets to help illustrate the development step.
1.1.9 Describe the testing and evaluating the chosen solution stage of the IB design cycle model.
The final outcome is tested and evaluated against the requirements set out in the specification. Recommendations for modifications to the design are made. A reiteration process should now begin.
Testing the final outcome of the product.
Evaluating and redesigning the final product
1.1.10 Explain why the IB design cycle model is not linear and why it is iterative in practice, thus making it representative of design thought and action.
The model emphasises that designing is not a linear process. Evaluation, for example, will take place at various stages of the process, not just at the end. Similarly, ideas for possible solutions are not only generated at the “generating ideas” stage; some good ideas may develop even as early as the “identifying needs” stage. In practice, it is impossible to separate the stages of the design process as clearly as the model suggests.
The fact that there is no definite direction or specific order attached to the design wheel, enables the designer to have any starting point. This gives the designer the freedom they wish.
1.1.11 Explain the role of the designer in the design process.
The designer’s role varies depending on the complexity of the process and the intended outcome.
Working as a designer usually implies being creative in a particular area of expertise. Designers are usually responsible for developing the concept and making drawings or models for something new that will be made by someone else. Their work takes into consideration not only how something will look, but also how it will be used and how it will be made. There can be great differences between the working styles and principles of designers in different professions.However the designer is not limited only to designing the product but rather he is provided with the job of taking charge of the whole design process.
1.1.12 Describe how designers interact with others and how the emphasis of the design process varies depending on the designer’s role.
Designers often work as members of a team. Priorities will vary depending on the nature of the activity. For example, the information required by an architect will be different from that required by an engineer.
1.1.13 Explain why elements of the model may differ in importance according to the particular design context.
Depending upon the nature of the problem, not all elements of the cycle carry the same weight in terms of time allocation and complexity. Points to consider include cost, resources, skills, time, original design specification and product modification.
1.1.14 Define incremental design, radical design, convergent thinking and divergent thinking.
1.1.15 Describe the relationship between incremental design and convergent thinking.
Since convergent thinking is analytical and solution focused and one typical area it is used is during evaluation where limitations are discovered or noted and recommended improvements on the design are given. This by nature is supported incremental design.
1.1.16 Describe the relationship between radical design and divergent thinking.
As divergent thinking is conceptual and problem focused and one stage it is evident is the generating of ideas. Where 'thinking outside the box' is promoted to come up with new ideas based on a set of specifications. Brainstorming is a good example of divergent thinking.
1.1.17 Explain how elements of the design model reflect convergent and divergent thinking.
Convergent thinking is analytical and solution focused, for example, during evaluation. Divergent thinking is conceptual and problem-focused, for example, used to generate ideas.
1.1.18 Explain how design work is often a combination of incremental and radical thinking.
For example, the use of a new material for a product may be a radical leap forwards but the product may look very similar to previous products: a tennis racquet made from carbon fibre is a radical development, but the shape and form are similar to previous designs.
The Alessi juicer (below) is a combination of incremental and radical in that the juicer must still function as a juicier and that must be intuitive to the user. It has incorporated plenty of small changes from previous products, however, the one radical change is in its form;
Numbered list and italicised paragraphs are excerpted from Design Technology: guide. Cardiff Wales, UK: International Baccalaureate Organization, 2007.
Images are clickable links to its location.