Imperial College London

Dr Marco Aurisicchio

Faculty of EngineeringDyson School of Design Engineering

Reader in Engineering Design



+44 (0)20 7594 7095m.aurisicchio




Office 1 (104)Dyson BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Eng, N and Aurisicchio, M and Bracewell, R},
journal = {Journal of Mechanical Design},
title = {Mapping software augments engineering design thinking},

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Objective: Maps have longbeenadvocated tosupport thinking with loosely-structured design information. This paperevaluatesthe applicationof mapping methods supported by the Decision Rationale editor (DRed)in the aerospace engineering industry. Specifically,the research investigateswhatDRed mapping methodsare used, whereengineers find them useful and why.Method: DRed was selected because it has been formally embedded in the design processes of the partner company and all engineering staff have access to it.The toolwas investigated usingsemi-structured interviews with fourteen engineers each already trained with DRed through their work and representing diverse departments and experience levels. Nineteen use cases were collected ranging from high-profile,multi-stakeholder projects to everyday individual work. Collected caseswere analysedfor methodsapplied, common contexts of use and reasons for use. Results: The resultsvalidate baselineDRed mapping methods to capture design rationale and analyse the root causes of engineering problems.Further, it providesempiricalevidencefor new DRed mapping methods to manage requirements, analyse functional interactions in complex systems and manage personal information.The contextswithin whichmapping methodsare usedtendtowards: system-level informationthat cut across sub-system boundaries; irregular intervalsbetween map applications; dealing with loosely-structured information; individual use or small team collaborations;and application to problemsfaced during regular design practice. The reasons to use mapping methods, as articulated by engineers,point towards supportforengineering design thinking, communication and planning. Conclusion: Using empirical evidence of its recurrentuse, this research establishesthat DRed is a powerful and versatile tool for engineers in industryand its mapping methodsaidimportant and otherwiseunsupportedwork.The
AU - Eng,N
AU - Aurisicchio,M
AU - Bracewell,R
SN - 1528-9001
TI - Mapping software augments engineering design thinking
T2 - Journal of Mechanical Design
ER -