Fixated on fixation? An exploration of the benefits and deficits of design "Fixation" in engineering design

Elizabeth M. Starkey, Wendy Zeng, Scarlett R. Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Design fixation is often thought of only as a limiting factor when a designer is generating ideas, but design fixation is defined only as 'sometimes counter-productive' indicating that there may be room for good fixation. In addition, design fixation is defined as a 'blind adherence', meaning that the designer does not know that they are limiting their idea set. Prior work in fixation has focused on how introducing designers to bad examples can cause a negative adherence to a limited set of ideas, while work in design by analogy has focused on how introducing a designer to the right idea can positively impact the creative output of idea generation. In addition, product dissection has been investigated as a way to inspire creative design with positive results. While researchers have investigated good examples for their positive impact on the creativity of generated ideas, little work has investigated how these good examples are having a positive impact. Therefore, this study aims to understand how exposing designers to different types of products through a product dissection activity impacts how designers are reusing parts in their ideation. In addition, this study investigates if these reuses are unconscious through the use of eye tracking equipment. The results show that reuse of parts is positively related to an individual's creativity during idea generation. In addition, they show that there is no relationship between eye fixations and design fixation, indicating that reuse might not be unconscious. Overall, the results shed a positive light on reuse and design fixation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791851845
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
EventASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2018 - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: Aug 26 2018Aug 29 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
Volume7

Other

OtherASME 2018 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2018
CountryCanada
CityQuebec City
Period8/26/188/29/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modeling and Simulation

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    Starkey, E. M., Zeng, W., & Miller, S. R. (2018). Fixated on fixation? An exploration of the benefits and deficits of design "Fixation" in engineering design. In 30th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology (Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference; Vol. 7). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2018-86037