What is a prototype? Emergent roles of prototypes from empirical work in three diverse companies

Carlye Lauff, Daria Kotys-Schwartz, Mark E. Rentschler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper explores the nature of prototypes from three diverse companies in the fields of consumer electronics, footwear, and medical devices. It is part of a larger qualitative research study developing a prototyping framework grounded in the emergent findings from practice and detailed inductive inquiry. In this paper, we describe the methods for setting up an appropriate research design, highlighting the conceptual framework, means for data collection and analysis, and validity. Then, we describe the emergent findings, introducing a modified definition of a prototype and the three roles of prototypes. This research is a contribution to the field of design theory and methodology by adding new knowledge about prototypes from companies. Prototyping is an essential part of product development, and yet it is one of the least formally explored areas of design. The significance of this work lies in its ability to gain insights into the role of prototyping in the natural work environment, which has not been holistically documented. By using diverse industries, we will build and test our framework across them all to ensure validity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication29th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791858219
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2017 - Cleveland, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2017Aug 9 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
Volume7

Other

OtherASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCleveland
Period8/6/178/9/17

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation under the Graduate Research Fellowship and CMMI Grant No. 1355599. We sincerely thank the companies in this research project. We would also like to thank Dr. Daniel Knight from the University of Colorado who has contributed to the research design and data analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 ASME.

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