FEIT Research Project Database

Creativity Mechanisms in Engineering Design & Education

Project Leader: Katja Holtta-Otto
Primary Contact: Katja Holtta-Otto (katja.holttaotto@unimelb.edu.au)
Disciplines: Mechanical Engineering

Creativity is a key part of engineering design and innovation. Most commonly creativity is seen as a use of a concept generation method, such as brainstorming, in the beginning of the process. Creativity is actually lot more than just the methods, and the methods them selves are under researched. In previous research, we identified that all well documented creativity methods consist of 25 so called creativity mechanism. These include implementation mechanisms such as the fact if the ideation is done alone or in teams or the modality of the ideas; as well as idea promoting mechanism such as use of stimuli or analogies. The focus of this project is to study these mechanisms in detail to understand what about creativity methods makes them work for specific situations and how we can further support creativity as part of different phases in engineering design. This work can be done in collaboration with Psychology or Engineering Education departments, for example.

The creativity mechanisms to study