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Exploring augmented reality technology as a design representation tool for enhancing the product development process in industrial design education

Karadoğaner, Alper
Design representation tools are among the most important mediums for industrial design students in the product development process. Students use these tools to explain their products and product aspects, such as form and mechanism, during their presentations in desk crits and juries in order to get feedback from the tutors and continue with design development. Desk crits are seen as a powerful and central medium of design studio education, in which design students interact with the tutors. Design representation tools are vital for desk crits to enhance the presentations of design students and the interaction between the students and the tutors, mainly based on the progress about product aspects in their design solutions. Understanding the relationship between the product aspects and design representation tools is vital to find out how the product development process can be enhanced with the proper use of design representation tools. Understanding this relationship is also essential for exploring how Augmented Reality (AR) as a developing technology can be integrated as a supportive design representation tool during the product development process, especially desk crits. First, a study was conducted to explore the current product development process of industrial design students. As a result of this study, the Design Representation Tool (DRT) framework showing the relationship between the product aspects and design representation tools is developed. In addition, product aspects’ requirements for AR technology are identified, and AR Interaction framework is offered to show how AR can be integrated into the design process. Based on the findings of this study, a second study was conducted to explore the potentials of AR technology and the effects of its integration into the product development process. This study revealed that AR technology has many benefits and potentials for the product development process as a supportive design representation tool.