Lesson 1.1 Introduction to a Design Process

Introduction to Engineering Design IED Curriculum IED Glossary IED Software Glossary Unit 1 – Introduction to Design Lesson 1.1 – Introduction to a Design Process Lesson 1.2 – Introduction to Technical Sketching and Drawing

Lesson 1.1 – Introduction to a Design Process


1.      There are many design processes that guide professionals in developing solutions to problems.

2.      A design process most used by engineers includes defining a problem, brainstorming, researching, identifying requirements, exploring possibilities, selecting an approach, developing a design proposal, making a model or prototype, testing, refining, making, and communicating results.

3.      Design teams use brainstorming techniques to generate large numbers of ideas in short time periods.

4.      Engineers conduct research to develop their knowledge base, stimulate creative ideas, and make informed decisions.

5.      A designer uses an engineer’s notebook to chronologically document all aspects of a design project.

Performance Objectives

It is expected that students will:

·         Apply engineering notebook standards and protocols when documenting their work during the school year.

·         Identify and apply group brainstorming techniques and the rules associated with brainstorming.

·         Research a product’s history, develop a PowerPoint presentation, list chronologically the major innovations to a product, and present findings to a group.

·         Use online and published works to research aspects of design problems.

·         Identify the design process steps used in given scenarios and be able to list the steps, if any are missing.

Essential Questions

1.      What is the design process and how is it used?

2.      Why is brainstorming important when modifying or improving a product?

3.      What is meant by constraints and criteria?

4.      What are common constraints put on a product?

5.      What comes to mind when you hear the words evolution of a product?

6.      What kinds of situations might keep a designer from moving sequentially through a design process?

7.      What is an engineer’s notebook and how is it used?

8.      Why do engineers use graphics to record and communicate information?

Key Terms






Design Brief

Design Process



Engineer’s Notebook





Problem Identification







Target Consumer

Time Line Chart

Instructional Resources

PowerPointÒ Presentations

Engineer’s Notebook

Engineer’s Notebook long version

Rules for Brainstorming

Evolution of Product Design

Introduction to Research

Design Process Overview


Word Documents

Activity 1.1.1 Beverage Container

Activity 1.1.2 Product Evolution

Activity 1.1.3 Gossamer Condor Design Brief

Activity 1.1.2 Product Evolution Rubric

Sample Engineering Notebook Entries

Example Design Process

Lesson 1.1 Key Terms and definitions in Excel

Isometric graph paper

Orthographic graph paper


Reference Sources

BookFactory. (2006). Engineering notebook guidelines. Retrieved January 3, 2007 from http://www.bookfactory.com/special_info/engr_notebook_guidelines.html

Giesecke, F. E., Mitchell, A., & Spencer, H. C., Hill, I.L., Dygdon, T. J., Novak, J. E., (2000). Technical drawing, (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Inc.

Goetsch, D.L., Chalk, W.S., Nelson, J.A., & Rickman, R.L. (2005). Technical Drawing, (5th ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Thompson Delmar Learning.

Horenstein, M. N., (2002). Design concepts for engineers (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Inc.

Hutchinson, J., & Karsnitz, J. R., (1994). Design and problem solving in technology. NY: Glencoe McGraw-Hill.

International Technology Education Association (ITEA). (2002). Standards for technological literacy.

 Lockhart, S, D., & Johnson, C. M., (1999). Engineering design communication: Conveying design through graphics. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.

Madsen D. A., Folkestad, J., Schertz, K. A., Shumaker, T. M., Stark, C., & Turpin, J. L. (2004). Engineering drawing and design (3rd ed.). Albany, NY: Delmar-Thompson Learning.

National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and International Reading Association (IRA) (1996). Standards for English language arts.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: Author.

National Research Council (NRC). (1996). National science education standards. Washington, D. C.: National Academy Press.

 Shadrin, R. L. (1992). Design and drawing: An applied approach. Worcester, MA: Davis Publications.

Shedd Productions, Inc. (2006). The flight of the gossamer condor. Retrieved January 3, 2007 from http://members.aol.com/sheddprods/sheddproductions.html

The Taunton Press Inc., (2000). Practical design solutions and strategies. Newtown, CT: Author.