Using Novel 2D Image Manipulation Methods to Aid Initial Concept Generation with Postgraduate Industrial Design Students


  • Karl Hurn Loughborough University
  • Ian Storer Loughborough University


The aim of this paper is to provide educators and industrial design professionals with an insight into the development of innovative design ideation images manipulation techniques and, highlight how these techniques could be used to not only improve student ideation skills, but also as design enablers for a broader range of professionals working both inside and outside the creative industries. The review of literature highlights the changing role of the industrial designer through influencing factors such as increased involvement in upstream design activities and the ‘maker movement’. The paper documents research conducted with postgraduate industrial design students in a specific year group within Loughborough Design School. The study is a pilot project with a small cohort of 29 industrial design postgraduate students which will form part of the ongoing pedagogic development of the skills required for the ever evolving discipline of industrial design. The study covers one academic semester, where postgraduate industrial design students were asked to use novel ideation methods to produce a range of aesthetic design directions for a communication device. The results of the research showed significant improvements in ideation workflow, the suitability and quality of the student’s form generation, as well as the perceived quality of the final design outcomes.

Author Biographies

Karl Hurn, Loughborough University

Karl Hurn is Programme Director for Industrial Design at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.  Graduating in Industrial Design in 1995 Karl worked in consultancy before moving to Hotpoint, a division of GE Alliances, working as an Industrial Designer for 6 years in white goods. Becoming an Academic in 2002, Karl moved to Loughborough in 2011 to develop his academic research. Karl’s most recent research was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ian Storer, Loughborough University

Ian Storer started his design career in 1992, designing a wide range of transportation, military, consumer and industrial products, both as an independent consultant and as part of design teams. He joined Loughborough University in 2002 and has been active in exploring best practice in the User Experience, Industrial and Automotive Design industries, subsequently developing teaching strategies to nurture these abilities in students.




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