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MobiSweep: Exploring Spatial Design Ideation Using a Smartphone as a Hand-held Reference Plane

posted Mar 9, 2016, 7:16 AM by Devarajan Ramanujan   [ updated Mar 9, 2016, 7:40 AM ]

Abstract: In this paper, we explore quick 3D shape composition during early-phase spatial design ideation. Our approach is to re-purpose a smartphone as a hand-held reference plane for creating, modifying, and manipulating 3D sweep surfaces. We implemented MobiSweep, a prototype application to explore a new design space of constrained spatial interactions that combine direct orientation control with indirect position control via well-established multi-touch gestures. MobiSweep leverages kinesthetically aware interactions for the creation of a sweep surface without explicit position tracking. The design concepts generated by users, in conjunction with their feedback, demonstrate the potential of such interactions in enabling spatial ideation.


Citation: Vinayak, Ramanujan, D., Piya, C., & Ramani, K. (2016, February). MobiSweep: Exploring Spatial Design Ideation Using a Smartphone as a Hand-held Reference Plane. In Proceedings of the TEI'16: Tenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (pp. 12-20). ACM.

Informing Early Design Via Crowd-based Co-creation

posted Nov 9, 2015, 2:08 PM by Devarajan Ramanujan   [ updated Mar 9, 2016, 7:40 AM ]


Abstract: Customer inputs in the early stages of design can potentially lead to completely new outlooks in concept generation. We propose crowd-based co-creation as a means to this end. Our main idea is to think of the customer as a source of initial design concepts rather than a means for obtaining preferences towards designer-generated concepts. For analyzing a large collection of customer-created prototypes, we develop a framework that focuses on generating hypotheses related to customer perception of design attributes. We demonstrate our approach through a web interface to gather design requirements for a computer mouse, a bicycle seat, a pen holder, and a cola bottle. This interface was used in a crowdsourcing study with 253 users who represented potential end users for these products. Results from this study show that web-based co-creation allows designers to capture a variety of form and function-related design requirements from user-created virtual prototypes. We also found that such studies can be instrumental in identifying innovative product concepts, and gaining insights about how user perception correlates with product form. Therefore, we make the case that customer creation through distributed co creation platforms can reinforce concept exploration in future early design processes.



Citation: Ramanujan, Devarajan, Yash Nawal Vinayak, Tahira Reid, and Karthik Ramani.  "Informing Early Design Via Crowd-Based Co-Creation" To Appear In ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.

Contextualizing Environmental Sustainability in Design Engineering Curricula

posted Nov 9, 2015, 2:04 PM by Devarajan Ramanujan   [ updated Nov 9, 2015, 2:27 PM ]

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Abstract: Consideration of environmental sustainability is significantly altering the nature of the mechanical design process. This necessitates integration of sustainability related learning content in design engineering curricula. Although various frameworks for teaching sustainable design exist, a survey conducted among practicing student engineers shows the presence of significant knowledge gaps. To this end, we propose a problem-based framework for contextualizing sustainability assessment within design engineering curricula. Our framework makes it possible for embedding sustainability related concepts within traditional engineering courses and promotes discovery learning among students by means of design exploration. We illustrate our approach using a shape synthesis task that integrates environmental assessment into design by constraining the decision space for domain specific variables. Results from a user survey for analyzing the effects of our framework show its ability to promote both awareness and applicability of sustainable design concepts as well as its potential for use in existing engineering curricula.

CitationRamanujan, Devarajan, William Z. Bernstein, Monica Cardella, and Karthik Ramani. "Contextualizing Environmental Sustainability in Design Engineering Curricula." In ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, pp. V003T04A025-V003T04A025. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2014.

ViSER: Visualizing supply chains for eco-conscious redesign

posted Nov 9, 2015, 2:03 PM by Devarajan Ramanujan   [ updated Mar 9, 2016, 7:41 AM ]


Abstract: In this paper, we present ViSER, an interactive visual analytics platform that visualizes supply chain data for enabling eco-conscious redesign. ViSER provides a visualization dashboard consisting of multiple mutually coordinated views that provide different perspectives on a particular supply chain scenario. Our platform allows users to visualize a change propagation metric associated with a particular redesign path. Hence, the user can balance the advantages of a redesign opportunity with the risk associated with its effect on the rest of the supply chain. Furthermore, ViSER offers lifecycle data representations that inform users’ decisions particularly in the context of eco-conscious redesign. Coupling such environmental data with graph-based visualizations of product architecture, ViSER provides a novel decision platform for designers with a range of expertise levels. To demonstrate its utility, two use-case scenarios, from both a novice and expert perspective, are presented in detail.




CitationBernstein, William Z., Devarajan Ramanujan, Niklas Elmqvist, Fu Zhao, and Karthik Ramani. "ViSER: Visualizing Supply Chains for Eco-Conscious Redesign." In ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, pp. V004T06A049-V004T06A049. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2014.

Juxtapoze: Supporting Serendipity and Creative Expression in Clipart Compositions

posted Nov 9, 2015, 1:58 PM by Devarajan Ramanujan   [ updated Nov 9, 2015, 2:01 PM ]

Figure : The Juxtapoze workflow (from left to right): (1) exploring the shape database using scribbled input; (2) edit a selected shape using standard drawing operations; (3) drag the shape into position on the canvas; (4) compose it with other shapes; and (5) repeat for a full drawing.
Abstract: Juxtapoze is a clipart composition workflow that supports creative expression and serendipitous discoveries in the shape domain. We achieve creative expression by supporting a workflow of searching, editing, and composing: the user queries the shape database using strokes, selects the desired search result, and finally modifies the selected image before composing it into the overall drawing. Serendipitous discovery of shapes is facilitated by allowing multiple exploration channels, such as doodles, shape filtering, and relaxed search. Results from a qualitative evaluation show that Juxtapoze makes the process of creating image compositions enjoyable and supports creative expression and serendipity.

Citation: Benjamin, William, Senthil Chandrasegaran, Devarajan Ramanujan, Niklas Elmqvist, S. V. N. Vishwanathan, and Karthik Ramani. "Juxtapoze: supporting serendipity and creative expression in clipart compositions." In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 341-350. ACM, 2014.

Profiling Energy Consumption of Smartphone Users for Environmentally Efficient Business Decisions

posted Nov 9, 2015, 1:50 PM by Devarajan Ramanujan   [ updated Nov 9, 2015, 2:01 PM ]

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Abstract: The recent proliferation of electronic products has led to a strong unmet need for understanding environmental implications of new technologies. According to Nielsen, 66% of Americans ages 24-35 own a smartphone, providing strong evidence that this technology can be considered ubiquitous. However, a majority of users and service providers are not sensitive to energy implications of data usage. As parameters affecting data delivery and usage are primarily driven by user behavior, this study is focused on using empirical data to investigate its correspondence to energy footprint. A large cohort of smartphone users (n = 21,853) and the means for which data is accessed, i.e. via 3G/LTE or WiFi, is examined to develop a model for estimating the energy cost of the various modes of data usage. Finally, alternate business scenarios are developed through simulating behavior change in cohorts based on existing data and then assessed with regards to economic and environmental efficiencies.



Citation: Bernstein, William Z., Devarajan Ramanujan, Fu Zhao, and Karthik Ramani. "Profiling Energy Consumption of Smartphone Users for Environmentally Efficient Business Decisions." In ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, pp. V004T05A042-V004T05A042. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2013.

shapeSift: Suggesting sustainable options in design reuse from part repositories

posted Nov 9, 2015, 1:47 PM by Devarajan Ramanujan   [ updated Nov 9, 2015, 2:01 PM ]

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Abstract: shapeSift is a framework for supporting sustainability based decision making during selection of similar previous designs from part repositories. Our framework is designed for 3D part repositories that contain metadata pertaining to materials and manufacturing processes as well as the functionality of a given part. To demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed framework we develop an example multi-dimensional visualization that encodes part similarities as well as a calculated environmental sustainability indicator. This visualization is incorporated in a prototype interface that focuses on enhancing the intuitiveness of the exploration process by the use of sketch-based retrieval.

Citation: Ramanujan, Devarajan, William Benjamin, William Z. Bernstein, Niklas Elmqvist, and Karthik Ramani. "ShapeSift: Suggesting Sustainable Options in Design Reuse From Part Repositories." In ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, pp. V004T05A041-V004T05A041. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2013.

Designing-in Sustainability by Linking Engineering Curricula with K-12 Science Projects

posted Nov 9, 2015, 1:46 PM by Devarajan Ramanujan


Abstract:  In light of society’s increasing awareness with regards to the health of the environment, many engineering firms are hiring recent engineering graduates with project- (or course-) based experience in environmental sustainability. Currently engineering schools at the collegiate level have addressed this need by modifying their curricula by including additional coursework on sustainability related subjects. The next step of adaptation calls for a holistic treatment of sustainability concepts by integrating them within traditional coursework. Engineering schools have not yet addressed the best way to accomplish this integration due to the concerns stemming from the increase in cognitive load and scheduling pressure. Additionally, it has been shown that K-12 curricula also lack exposure to sustainable thinking. As a result, incoming freshmen are not aware of the inherent correlations between engineering principles, e.g. heat transfer and environmental sustainability. To prepare the next generation of innovative thinkers to solve these complex, interdisciplinary issues, engineering principles must be contextualized in terms of sustainable design at both the K-12 and undergraduate levels. To meet this need, the authors developed a general framework for introducing sustainable design thinking into K-12 student projects. A pilot case is presented to illustrate a particular student’s (listed as a co-author) growth through a newly gained understanding of environmental sustainability through experimentation. The project specifically addresses various insulation materials for residential buildings by judging their individual environmental advantages and economic feasibility.  The main outcome of this project is the extensive redesign of an existing undergraduate heat and mass transfer lab experiment.


Citation: Bernstein, William Z., Arjun Ramani, Xiulin Ruan, Devarajan Ramanujan, and Karthik Ramani. "Designing-In Sustainability by Linking Engineering Curricula With K-12 Science Projects." In ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, pp. 305-312. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2012.

Discovering Material Recovery Scenarios for Industrial Machinery

posted Nov 9, 2015, 1:44 PM by Devarajan Ramanujan

Abstract: Decision-making methodologies for evaluating a product’s end-of-life options have become a significant area of research. Extensive work has been carried out in the area of product recovery, e.g. module-based disassemblability, reverse logistics, remanufacturing, material recyclability, among others. Some of these methods use graphical representations in the form of disassembly trees and/or networks to find feasible solutions with computational approaches, but have not been made applicable to larger, more complex electrohydraulic mechanical systems. The work presented in this paper aims to apply a disassembly assessment technique by comparing a component’s disassembly effort to a reward such as recycling value or energy recovery from recycling. First, the disassembly network is represented by a directed graph where weighted edges represent reward/cost. Next, an implementation of Dijkstra’s algorithm is used to compute the optimal disassembly path that minimizes the sum of the edge weights. Lastly, the optimal disassembly paths for each individual reward are compared to discover the globally optimal disassembly scenario. This method is applied to a real-world case study of an underground mining drill rig with direct contributions from engineers involved in the development of the machine itself. Specific component recovery options are recommended based on the methodology and alternative design practices are suggested to improve product recyclability.

Citation:Bernstein, William Z., Devarajan Ramanujan, Mikko Koho, Fu Zhao, and Karthik Ramani. "Discovering Material Recovery Scenarios for Industrial Machinery: A Case-Based Approach." In ASME 2012 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference collocated with the 40th North American Manufacturing Research Conference and in participation with the International Conference on Tribology Materials and Processing, pp. 1097-1104. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2012.


Implementing Design Critique for Teaching Sustainable Concept Generation

posted Nov 9, 2015, 1:42 PM by Devarajan Ramanujan

Abstract: Product design is one of the most important activities that can influence sustainability. Therefore, it is critical to educate students about these methodologies as they are the next generation of engineers. This paper details a study conducted among engineering graduate students for teaching sustainability through design critique. The students were part of a graduate level design course and were required to conceptualize designs of novel products. Upon completion of their designs, questionnaires which assessed their familiarity with sustainable design and its relation to product design were handed out. A team of design experts reviewed the final design concepts along with these questionnaires and offered a detailed design critique focused on redesign with regards to sustainability. The students then revised their design based on the feedback. A post-evaluation questionnaire and the modified design concepts were then collected to assess the success of the design critiques. Although student projects are limited in scope, and simplify real world problems, the learning through this project will enable them to design products that consider environmental sustainability.

Citation: Bernstein, William Zev, Devarajan Ramanujan, Monica F. Cox, Fu Zhao, John W. Sutherland, and Karthik Ramani. "Implementing Design Critique for Teaching Sustainable Concept Generation." In DS 68-8: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 8: Design Education, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08. 2011. 2011.

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