The Open UniversitySkip to content

Engineering design in a different way: cognitive perspective on the contact and channel model approach

Albers, Albert; Ohmer, Manfred and Eckert, Claudia (2004). Engineering design in a different way: cognitive perspective on the contact and channel model approach. In: Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design, 22-23 July 2003, University of Sydney, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Full text available as:
PDF (Not Set) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (102Kb)
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Engineering design often involves the integration of new design ideas into existing products, requiring designers to think simultaneously about abstract properties and functions as well as concrete solution constraints. Often designers struggle to reason with functional descriptions, while not fixating on existing solutions. This paper introduces the Contact & Channel Model (C&CM) approach, which combines abstract functional models of technical systems with the concrete geometric descriptions that many designers are familiar with. By locating functions at working surface pairs, they receive a concrete location in mental models. The C&CM approach can be applied to analyze existing product descriptions and synthesize creative new solutions for parts of the system or for entire new systems. At the moment the approach is being developed into an complete modeling and problem solving approach. C&CM has been used for several years in undergraduate engineering teaching at the University of Karlsruhe (TH) and is increasingly being introduced into industry by its use in research and development projects, by its students and its alumni.

Item Type: Conference Item
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Engineering & Innovation
Mathematics, Computing and Technology
Item ID: 13246
Depositing User: Users 8128 not found.
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2009 11:34
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2016 04:49
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340