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Prototype for X (PFX): A holistic framework for structuring prototyping methods to support engineering design

J. Menold, K. Jablokow, and T. Simpson
2017, Design Studies

While scholars have studied benefits and drawbacks of prototype development, few have attempted to create a holistic framework to structure prototyping and combine insights from across technical domains. An extensive literature review of prototyping research and study of novice designers’ mental models of prototyping is used to develop and validate a set of specifications for a holistic and structured prototyping framework. This work then introduces a novel framework to help structure prototyping, Prototype for X (PFX), as an alternative to traditional prototyping approaches in engineering design. Early results highlight the potential impact PFX can have on the design process and on the final design product compared to those achieved through ‘prototyping in the wild’. Future research directions are also discussed.