NORMAN, E., 1997. Towards the capture of design intelligence - a focus on independent learning materials and calculation software for the analysis of structures. IDATER 1997 conference, Loughborough University.
Many writers have claimed that designing requires particular ways of knowing, but there has
only been limited progress towards identifying what these are . This paper explores one area
of design pedagogy: technology for design and, in particular, the interaction of the creation of
form and structural analysis. Prior work concerning architectural students is noted and the
approach adopted to making order-of-magnitude estimates with Industrial Design and
Technology undergraduates at Loughborough University is discussed. A transparent ‘system’
involving text-based flexible learning materials and calculation software has been developed
The materials were used by 118 students in 1995/96 and 116 students in 1996/97 with a total
teaching contact time in the Foundation Technology module of 17 hours. Feedback was
obtained by analysing the students’ performances on a Foundation Technology assignment,
from the subsequent design practice activity and from questionnaires. The feedback was
supportive of the judgements made concerning the required foundation studies and the flexible
learning approach. Its success points the way forward towards a more encoded system.