A Procedure proposal for developing novel ideas for military products: domain expert knowledge transfer through design by analogy

Yücelmiş, Utku
When future soldier programmes are examined, especially from product design perspective, it is clearly seen that they embody various products from different domains. Some products used in military systems are originally commercial products which are integrated to military systems. These products which can be used for both commercial and military purposes are defined as “dual-use technologies”. Such integrated military systems are open for new ideas especially in the concept generation phase in terms of product variety. This type of ill-defined concept generation process makes it difficult to produce solid solutions and this situation leads designers to the process of reproductive thinking. To overcome this problem, there are many Design- by-Analogy (DbA) methods, tools and techniques in the literature. Practicability and efficiency of these methods, tools and techniques are highly questionable due to their experimental nature. These DbA methods, tools and techniques present design knowledge to designers who have no knowledge in this domain. However, DbA literature predicts that this may not be enough to lead designer to innovation. To achieve innovation and cross domain knowledge transfer, transferring knowledge between experts is important. In this respect, study aims to involve designers who have domain knowledge. In order to increase the efficiency of DbA process the procedure of Expert Knowledge Transfer Through Design-by-Analogy (DEKT-DbA) is developed. Before conducting the study, situational awareness concept was determined as a design problem to be resolved, by military experts. In the process, individual workshops and semi-structured interviews were made with 20 product designers from different domains. These 20 designers were able to create 76 design solutions to increase situational awareness of military personnel. The design solutions were firstly categorized under the subsystems of soldier modernisation programmes and then evaluated by juries who are experienced product designers in defense industry. The efficiency of DEKT-DbA is evaluated with these scored concepts. In addition, the knowledge of designers on design by analogy and other methods or tools and techniques in terms of cross-industry innovation was also examined.


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Citation Formats
U. Yücelmiş, “A Procedure proposal for developing novel ideas for military products: domain expert knowledge transfer through design by analogy,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2018.