Improvisation for Design of Engineering Alternatives (IDEA) is based on the well-known equivalence of humor and innovation. Improvisation is used as a random idea generator in much they same way the random number generators are used in stochastic simulations. These resulting ideas are then refined to sample a section of idea space near the solution to a specified design problem. Our research ativities concentrate on the refinement step which is particularly challenging for technical design. For more information contact us, see a recent paper describing our general approach, or check out our upcoming workshops.
This research is carried out under IRB Human Subjects Research Protocol protocol number H08340 ( click here for a PDF copy of the IRB consent form). This work is a collaboration between Pete Ludovice, Lew Lefton and Richard Catrambone of the Georgia Insitute of Technology. Workshop participants are typically asked to sign a waiver that explains the results of these workshops will be used in educational research. Click Here for a sample copy of this waiver.