This completes the free course, An introduction to design engineering. Hopefully your existing ideas of what design is have been challenged so you now think of design in other ways too. You have seen that design is more than simply choosing the shape and appearance – it’s a fundamental human ability to take existing conditions and change them with a clear purpose.
Design responds to real world situations and challenges, most of which are driven by human needs and desires. These design drivers are major factors in motivating designers but designing for humans is still unquestionably a difficult task.
You have also been introduced to some numerical methods that can be applied in design, showing that it’s not only creative thinking that’s necessary – good analytical thinking is needed too.
The key to good design is knowing when to apply each of these to best effect in the design process. As a design engineer, you make use of both creative and analytical thinking, taking human imagination and creativity and making it a working reality.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.