Course Overview

DHE519 Design Engineering Theory & Methodology | graduate

The course aims to foster awareness and understanding of industrial and engineering design theory and methodology through an exploration of the design process and the kinds of designerly knowledge, skills, theories and methodologies unique to and/or appropriate for design.


Course objectives

To enable students to be better recognise, critique and discuss, using appropriate vocabulary, academic tone and register, design theory and methodology; with particular focus on industrial and engineering design practice. The course aims to develop capabilities in gathering evidence, critical analysis and presenting complex ideas and concepts both orally through presentation and through a written essay assignment.

  • Identify, substantiate, appraise and discuss design theory and methodology.

  • Understand the significance of design representation as a means to consider the differences and commonalities between industrial and engineering design.

  • Use Knowledge and Understanding to critically consider differences and commonality between industrial and engineering design.

Teaching apporach

The course commences with an Introduction to design theory, methods and practice including the critical role representation plays in design activity. This is followed by a discussion of contemporary industrial and engineering design, the common ground and divergence that exists between these two related but paradoxically divided disciplines. Existing models of design process and the nature and character of design activity are presented. Next, the use and role of design representation is considered in a comparative study of industrial and engineering design practice. 

Finally design thinking is explored to consider the different approaches engineers and industrial designers may take to their design activity.

Student outcomes

Building upon class material, discussion, reading assignments and self directed secondary research, students will produce a presentation a report on a focused area of industrial and/or engineering design.

The report is expected to both position work in relation to other, existing works, as well as define the scope of the student's own area of interest. However, students are encouraged to take a critical approach in the expression of insights and findings.