A.Weiss et al. (2015) ‘The Ideality WHAT Model for Product Design’. E&PDE 2015, 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.
This article presents an innovative design model for both designers and engineers that can serve as a crucial compass during the formulation of a Product Design brief. The model was developed in order to bridge the gap that exists between the quest for sustainable design and the limitations of traditional briefs by focusing on the analysis level of the “WHAT” in order to enhance the “HOW” hands-on output. The model is based on the TRIZ ideality concept and the Bio-mimicry approach, incorporating sustainability principles inspired by nature. This design model directs designers and engineers through complex planning challenges, including the demand for sustainable processes and materials, novel attributes, efficiency, functionality and lower costs. Mechanical engineers and product designers that utilize this model achieve interactive strategic thinking that can balance the main planning stages of product functionality, such as manufacturing, advanced materials, logistics processes, marketing demands and related costs. This article presents and expands upon the theoretical basis of the model and also discusses its practical contribution through a case study conducted in an academic classroom experiment with students in a program for Mechanical Engineering and Product Design.