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Unit information: Design Methods 2 in 2020/21

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Unit name Design Methods 2
Unit code CENG20016
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Morgan
Open unit status Not open

CENG10011 Design Project & Methods 1


Design Project 2 (CENG20015)

School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit introduces students to:

  • Different approaches to the conceptual design process, and associated design methods, tools and techniques, including;
    • Systematic design
    • Human-centred design
    • Social innovation design
  • The nature of design, design fixation, and design thinking, in a socio-cultural and global context
  • Working as part of a creative design team and the nature of learning to design

Using a variety of design exercises within three mini-projects, the aims of the unit are to enable students to:

  • Discover and define design problems and requirements through appropriate research
  • Generate concepts and down-select using appropriate methods
  • Manage the conceptual design process and evaluate outcomes
  • Communicate design work to a non-technical audience
  • Demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of design process, methods and tools with the ability to apply them in a range of situations
  • Engage with and reflect upon the open, complex, networked, and dynamic problems of modern society

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Manage a variety of design processes within the freedoms and constraints of real-world problems
  2. Use a variety of design processes, methods and tools to create and evaluate innovative design concepts
  3. Critically review and reflect upon the use of different design methods, tools, and frameworks
  4. Appreciate and reflect upon the nature of design and design knowledge
  5. Use visual and verbal literacy to communicate design information by written report and oral presentation

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, which may include lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Details

Formative assessment:


  • 2X Group design review and reflection (ILO 1-5)


  • 1X Group design review and reflection (ILO 1-5)

Summative assessment:


  • Individual written literature review on conceptual design methods, tools and frameworks ''(40%) (ILO 3-5)


  • Group reflective report & presentation critically reviewing and reflecting upon group use of design methods, tools and frameworks, using group design work completed throughout the unit as illustrative case studies ''(60% 'must pass)'' (ILO 1 -5) 

Total: 100% coursework

Supplementary assessment:

  • Individual reflective report & presentation (ILO 1-5)

Reading and References

  • G. Pahl & W. Beitz, Engineering Design: A Systematic Approach, Springer, 2013 (various editions in library, TA174)
  • K. Dorst, Frame Innovation, MIT Press, 2016 (available through library as hardcopy and e-book. TM has a reference copy)
  • N. Cross, Engineering Design Methods, Springer, 2008 (various editions in library, TA174)
  • N. Cross, Design Thinking: Understanding How Designers Think and Work, Berg, 2011