Creativity in the First Year of an MEng Degree
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Valentine, Rod
Institution: University of Bath, United Kingdom
Section: Creativity in Design Education
Creativity is a requirement of the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) stipulating within its specific learning outcomes that accredited degree courses deliver creativity. The point at which creativity is introduced in an undergraduate engineering degree may vary depending on the length of focus on developing the fundamentals of design practice. However, to not incorporate some creativity within the first year of design even within a traditional mechanical engineering department would leave a large step-up in the second year as well as omitting an exciting part of the design process. This paper reviews the design delivery in the first year of an MEng undergraduate degree and appraises the extent to which it uses creativity. The appraisal is assisted by considering how creativity is defined. Although a gradual increase in creativity throughout the second semester of the first year is shown, it is a design and make exercise where the development of creativity is considered to be strongest, and as such is discussed in detail. The structure of the design and make process is described with references to existing design models, and its creative phase is described by comparing it to the creative process where divergence-convergence exists. According to Rhodes the generation of creativity has four important strands and it is shown that two of these, product and process, are exemplified within the design and make process.