We based our exploratory research on the clinical analysis of concrete cases. We want to analyze the design activity of students confronted with the same design task (an industrial â€śorderâ€ť); but in two different teaching situations. In one of the studied training situation; students have met the â€śindustrial sponsor. In the other training situation; students only had the â€śindustrial orderâ€ť. At the end of the exercise; students of both situations have been interviewed about the tracks (notes; drawings; plans; models or CAD) that they have produced in order to accomplish the prescribed design task. The analysis of the students’ design activity has been realized through the verbalizations collected during these interviews.
The processing and analysis of six students’ verbalizations; allow us to highlight the influence of the presence of an industrial sponsor in a situation of design teaching. On the one hand this influence appears in the assimilation and processing of requirements contained in the specifications (the prescribed task); on the other hand; in the development of assumptions about the artifact to be designed. This study helps to show not only the importance of the teaching situation constructed by the teachers and their mediating role; but also the impact of the representations that the students have of the situation itself (didactic; operational; both). The presence of an industrial sponsor â€“ invisible in one of the situations or physically present in the other one - engages all the students in researching a technical â€ścredibilityâ€ť (feasibility) of their artifact assumptions. Encouraged by their teachers; the students who have not been in direct contact with the industrial sponsor have privileged training objectives and; for this purpose; they have â€śfalsifiedâ€ť the requirements proposed by the industrial enterprise. The students in contact with the industrial enterprise have strictly complied with the requirements; denying any didactic objective.
One of the teaching situations can be described as a simulation; and the other as a re-creation; of the â€ścomplex of interactionsâ€ť (Lebahar; 2007) inherent to every situation of design; The analysis of these two teaching situations raises questions about the relevance of a â€śsituated design learningâ€ť based on â€śhybridâ€ť design situations; neither completely operational; nor totally simulated.
Keywords: Design training situation; teaching; professional didactics; analysis of design activity; industrial design