Prof. W. Ernst Eder: Engineering Design vs. Artistic Design: an extended discussion
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Design engineering and artistic forms of designing, industrial design, have much in
common, but also differences. For an attractive and user-friendly product, its form (observable
shape) is important ? a task for industrial designers, architects, etc. ?Conceptualizing? consists of
preliminary sketches, a direct entry to hardware ? industrial designers work ?outside inwards?.
For a product that should work and fulfill a purpose, perform a transformation process, its
functioning and operation are important ? a task for engineering designers. Anticipating and
analyzing a capability for operation is a role of the engineering sciences. The outcome of design
engineering is a set of manufacturing instructions, and analytical verification of anticipated
Design engineering is more constrained than industrial design, but in contrast has available
a theory of technical systems and its associated engineering design science, with several abstract
models and representations of structures. Engineering designers tend to be primary for technical
systems, and their operational and manufacturing processes ? they work ?inside outwards?.
Hubka?s theory, and consequently design methodology, includes consideration of tasks of a
technical system, typical life cycle, duty cycle, classes of properties (and requirements), mode of action, development in time, and other items of interest for engineering design processes.
Students learning design engineering at times need a good example of procedure for novel
design engineering. The systematic heuristic-strategic use of a theory and the methodical design
process is only necessary in limited situations. The full procedure should be learned, such that
the student can select appropriate parts for other applications. Hubka?s methodology is
demonstrated by several case examples.