Material selection: A qualitative case study of five design consultancies
This qualitative case study aims at understanding when and how industrial designers, working in design consultancies, engage in activities that will influence material selection in the design process. While the extant literature presents material selection processes as a sequence of activities aimed at finding candidate materials, there is paucity of research on material criteria activities. Formulating material criteria is an activity that is performed during all design phases and they become clearer and more complete throughout the project. For the case studies, explorative semi-structured interviews were conducted with five industrial designers with 10 years of work experience or more. The results suggest (a) that risk management has a major influence on the material selection process, (b) that negotiations of project boundaries in the ‘fuzzy’ pre-design phase has crucial influence on the risk management aspect of the material criteria activities, and (c) a lack of awareness that design briefs usually outline material criteria expressed as sensorial characteristics, which are later translated by engineering into final material criteria used for the material selection process.
Sorensen, A. C., A. Warell, S. Jagtap, (2017), Material selection: A qualitative case study of five design consultancies, Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED, The Design Society, 2017, no DS87-1, p. 439-448, article id DS87-1