Integrating 3D physical and digital modeling into 3D form creation in industrial design education

Öztürk Şengül, Mehtap
Digital design media have entered in the design field in the course of the last couple of decades and have rapidly changed the way of practicing in design related professions. As part of this change, digital modeling has taken its place among the basic skills that an industrial designer is expected to have. As a cognitive activity, modeling plays very significant roles in the form creation related skill acquisition processes in design education. Therefore an urgent need for new approaches for the integration of 3D physical and digital modeling into industrial design education has emerged with the entrance of digital modeling to the field. However, formulation of such an approach cannot be achieved without a sound understanding of the existing role and position of 3D physical and digital modeling in the students’ skill acquisition processes. This thesis investigates the existing role and position of 3D physical and digital modeling in the skill acquisition processes of industrial design students with special emphasis on their mutual dependency, complementarity and conditioning by employing Actor Network Theory. The field study of the thesis is conducted in the Department of Industrial Design at METU and involves twelve interviews containing narratives of the most satisfying form development process of the student and twelve interviews with the studio instructors. The narratives of the students’ form development processes are analyzed as the translation processes of the studio actor networks. The findings of the study reveal the complexities of the relationships between the actors in the skill acquisition processes by highlighting the active roles of physical and digital modeling both in 2D and 3D. The findings also showed how the students, physical and digital modeling work together by complementing each other during these processes. Drawing upon these findings which point to these complementary relationships, a new frame model for the integration of 3D physical and digital modeling in industrial design education is proposed in the thesis.  


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Citation Formats
M. Öztürk Şengül, “Integrating 3D physical and digital modeling into 3D form creation in industrial design education,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2016.