This research investigates how radical innovations in material science can be better communicated to designers. In particular, it focuses on how language can be used to ensure that designers create feasible concepts when they are first introduced to a new material.
Results from user studies and workshops found that designers struggle to use existing tools to reliably create new ideas. Half of the designers failed to create feasible ideas. To produce a framework that would guide them, further tests were conducted through interviews and a thematic review to understand the language that designers use to communicate. Focus groups and surveys found that designers had a preference for certain words, language and sentence structure. A final workshop found that 84% of the ideas created by the designers using the framework became feasible. The value of the framework was further validated by reviewing it with industry and academic experts who saw this as a valuable tool to effectively communicate the material properties to designers.