MANAGING COMPLEXITY IN MASS CUSTOMIZATION THROUGH DESIGN SPACE SUBDIVISION: A CASE STUDY IN CERAMIC TABLEWARE DESIGN

Open Access
Author:
Raposoda Silva De Castro E Cos, Eduardo
Graduate Program:
Architecture
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
December 04, 2017
Committee Members:
  • Jose M Pinto Duarte, Dissertation Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • Jose M Pinto Duarte, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
  • Jose M Pinto Duarte, Committee Member
  • Loukas N Kalisperis, Committee Member
  • Timothy William Simpson, Outside Member
  • Conrad S Tucker, Outside Member
  • Thomas Arthur Lauerman, Special Member
  • Joaquim Jorge, Special Member
Keywords:
  • mass customization
  • ceramic tableware
  • generative design systems
  • shape grammars
  • parametric modeling
  • digital fabrication
Abstract:
Although design is traditionally the métier of designers, nowadays participation in the design process is increasingly shared with end-users. Such transfer of design responsibility happens in various creative fields such as architecture and product design, and in a number of contexts, one of which being mass customization. In the context of mass customization, designs are generated automatically by computer-implemented configurators according to the needs and preferences of the customers, in the quality of non-expert end-users. In modern configurators, those end-users directly explore the customization design space, which corresponds to the set of all possible design solutions. For those users, the quality of a mass customization experience depends on a balanced design space that provides design variety while avoiding the burden of choice. Such balance is difficult to ensure with traditional configurators. Therefore, we suggest an innovative Design Participation Model towards a more flexible design space management, by modulating the interactions among participants of the design process, namely system designers, designers and end-users. With this model, complex design spaces can be simplified by designers and more easily manipulated by end-users. In order to experiment with the proposed Design Participation Model, we develop a prototype of a mass customization system focused on ceramic tableware. Reasons for choosing ceramic tableware as a case study include its reduced production cost and the sector’s need for competitiveness against companies manufacturing low-cost products. Implementation of the prototypical system includes the development of generic shape grammars and parametric models, as well as their integration with user interfaces and digital fabrication technology. Gathered insights can be useful for implementing the Design Participation Model in the introduction of mass customization in other areas.