Dr Andrew Wodehouse

Senior Lecturer

Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management

Personal statement

I am active in the areas of interaction design, product aesthetics and innovative design teams, and have led EPSRC, AHRC, and Carnegie Trust funded research projects. I am DMEM's Postgraduate Leader, with responsibility for our postgraduate taught courses and students. Prior to joining DMEM I worked as a product design engineer for a number of consultancies, and have continued to engage with industry through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and consultancy work since then.  



Using linkography to compare creative methods for group ideation
Hatcher G, Ion W, MacLachlan R, Marlow M, Simpson B, Wilson N, Wodehouse A
Design Studies Vol 58, pp. 127-152 (2018)
Applied humour in creative product design
Hatcher Gillian, Ion William, MacLachlan Ross, Wodehouse Andrew, Simpson Barbara, Marlow Marion
Creativity and Humour (2018) (2018)
Pareidolia : characterising facial anthropomorphism and its implications for product design
Wodehouse Andrew, Brisco Ross, Broussard Ed, Duffy Alex
Journal of Design Research Vol 16, pp. 83-98 (2018)
The line model of form and emotion : perspectives on Western design
Urquhart Lewis, Wodehouse Andrew
Human Technology Vol 14, pp. 27—66 (2018)
Realising the affective potential of patents : a new model of database interpretation for user-centred design
Wodehouse Andrew, Vasantha Gokula, Corney Jonathan, Jagadeesan Ananda, Maclachlan Ross
Journal of Engineering Design Vol 29, pp. 484-511 (2018)
Evolving improvised ideation from humour constructs : a new method for collaborative divergence
Hatcher Gillian, Ion William, MacLachlan Ross, Sheridan Marion, Simpson Barbara, Wodehouse Andrew
Creativity and Innovation Management Vol 27, pp. 91-101 (2018)

more publications

Research interests

I am interested in exploring the underlying issues that drive product design and development. My research addresses the themes of product, process and people: the individual product experience in terms of user interaction; group collaboration in the design and delivery of products; and the sociological factors that drive product innovation and lead to commercial success. Exploration of these three levels of interchange covers the range of human experience in relation to artefacts and technological development, and lessons from each contribute to a range of design principles and practices that are physically, emotionally, and cognitively grounded. 

User experience: I have four PhD students whose topics include aesthetics, remote presence, movement-based product interaction and UCD for advanced manufacturing.  I collaborate with a colleague from Theatre Studies to use elements of dance and drama teaching in the exploration of movement in product interfaces.

Information support for designers:  I am PI on an EPSRC project investigating how patents can support innovative engineering design, having previously been involved in several research projects (DIDET, KIM) focussed on collaborative tools for design teams.  I have been involved in KTP projects with Hulley & Kirkwood Consulting Engineers and SI Associates on the implementation of Knowledge Management systems to support effective working.

Drivers of innovation: I am CI on an EPSRC/AHRC project investigating the relationship of humour constructs to creativity in the design process. I collaborate with a historian from Dundee University on the development and movement of design technology, in particular through the Victorian period. I have a continuing interest in the effect of culture and creativity as drivers of innovation and have published a number of papers on these topics. 

Professional activities

Research in Human-Centred Design: Products, Processes and People
Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (External organisation)
International Journal of Human Computer Studies (Journal)
Peer reviewer
5th International Conference on Design Creativity
ICED17, 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (Event)
International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation (Journal)
Peer reviewer

more professional activities


Mapping behaviour in client design review meetings: implementing VR for enhanced decision-making
Wodehouse, Andrew (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2019
Switching metamaterials: integrated actuating structures through additive manufacture
Wodehouse, Andrew (Principal Investigator)
Network funding from Scottish Research Partnership in Engineering (SRPe). PEER – Pool Engagement in European Research Supports engagement in European collaboration and funding opportunities.
07-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2018
Utilising advanced manufacturing in brass musical instruments
Wodehouse, Andrew (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018
New Engineering Design Processes through Constructs of Humour
Ion, William (Principal Investigator) MacLachlan, Ross (Co-investigator) Marlow, Marion (Co-investigator) Simpson, Barbara (Co-investigator) Wodehouse, Andrew (Co-investigator)
"This project aims to reinvigorate early phase concept design by developing new creative engineering design processes through constructs of humour.

Humour is a human faculty and a capacity for its generation and appreciation is detectable in most people. Humour therefore plays an inherent, often positive and unconsciously strategic, role in organisational culture, team dynamics, management and creativity. In humour and organisational studies there is significant support for the deliberate leveraging of positive humour cognitive mechanisms to further enhance creative and social processes.

Creative processes are critical to innovation through engineering design, particularly during early conceptual process phases. When engineering designers and teams engage in idea generation and other creative tasks, a lack of openness to others, engagement with the problem and willingness to take risks can inhibit the quality and volume of concepts produced. 'Brainstorming' is a group problem solving technique that can be applied to nearly any open-ended task. It has become a shorthand for any solution focused group discussion and in many cases does not take place in the open-minded, inventive, fluid atmosphere that is necessary for it to be effective. While other techniques such as morphological charts, TRIZ and the gallery method exist, they are similarly impaired by a lack of participant engagement.

A dominant theory of humour is that it is a process involving the set-up and resolution of 'incongruities'; the recipient feels emotions of surprise and satisfaction resulting in laughter. For engineering design, incongruous humour is a powerful analogy for creative design process explaining how novel, unexpected but appropriate solutions are recognised. One study suggests that a group of experienced comedians were more effective in product design idea generation than trained designers. However, the precise reasons for this are not fully understood, corresponding results have not been sought within real situated design processes, technical or otherwise, and there has been no formal attempt to package humour based processes for effective use in design practice.

Using prominent arguments in the literature in relation to incongruity, relief and superiority in humour, we have conducted a preliminary study that established the feasibility of incorporating stimuli to enhance concept design sessions Based on this, we have identified three exploratory themes based on aspects of humour with potential for further integration with creative design methods:
1. Humour to facilitate collaboration. Laughter can help free us from the shackles of day-to-day analytic thinking. This theme will explore the use of humorous material and comedy to generate group cohesion and structure sessions to achieve a positive, non-critical attitude towards the task in hand.
2. Humour to encourage immersion. Creative thinking benefits from a level of absorption or 'flow' discussed by and others to achieve depths of empathy and insight. This theme will explore the use of improvisational routines ('Yes, and...') and comedic exercises to increase the level of engagement by the group.
3. Humour to diversify the solution space. Incongruity, or the juxtaposition of dissimilar ideas, is fundamental to many jocular structures. This theme will explore the use of the properties of incongruity to encourage the group to strive for unusual ideas through the use of humorous narratives and unexpected perspectives.

This project will allow further integration of aspects of humour to enhance engagement, structure and novelty in idea generation; to assess effectiveness through a series of workshops; and to present enhanced guidelines as a basis for new methods and tools to enhance innovative working practices. This would represent a significant step forward in the academic fields of creativity, innovation and design methods."
12-Jan-2015 - 11-Jan-2017
Quantifying patent commercialisation to support engineering design
Wodehouse, Andrew (Principal Investigator) Corney, Jonathan (Co-investigator) MacLachlan, Ross (Co-investigator)
"This project will investigate if crowdsourcing can be used to aggregate the content of disparate, open-data sources across the internet to determine which patents underpin commercial products, and organise and present these according to technical criteria in a visual form appropriate for engineering design.

Patents are frequently used to quantify levels of innovation associated with specific regions or companies. However despite the development of sophisticated data mining tools to support the analysis of over 50 million online patent records, little is known about which patents are actually commercialized and how they are embodied in commercial products. Because of this patent informatics has been inherently limited to the study of the records, rather than the use, of Intellectual Property (IP). This information gap inevitably reduces the accuracy of academic and commercial analysis that use patent data for applications such as innovation research, fore-sighting, and IP portfolio valuations. Furthermore, the presentation of existing data maps is not in a form that is useful for engineering designers when conceptualising and embodying products: it is predominantly text-based (and often deliberately obfuscated) when more visual presentation with exemplars and appropriate technical taxonomic terms would greatly enhance utility when undertaking engineering design development.

Crowdsourcing utilises large networks of open people to compete discrete tasks. Virtual tools are used to co-ordinate the distribution, payment and co-ordination of results, resulting in a labour market that is open 24/7 and a diverse workforce available to perform tasks quickly and cheaply. The distributed network of human workers provide on-line, black-box reasoning capabilities that could far exceed the capabilities of current AI technologies (i.e. genetic algorithms, neural-nets, case-based reasoning) in terms of flexibility and scope.

This project proposes that crowdsourcing can be utilised to access open data sources such as user manuals, product labelling, court proceedings and company web pages to understand which patents are actively used in current products and how they have been embodied. With a more accurate representation of innovation commercialisation, technical metadata (labelling), and utilisation, we envisage patent searches not as a stage-gate check but as a revitalised source of design inspiration. Indeed, if crowdsourcing proves a cheap, scalable way of collating this information and applying appropriate taxonomic and visual engineering information, it could fundamentally alter the early phases of engineering design. To this end, the project will result in a visualization tool that can be used to both guide and inspire design conceptualisation and embodiment."
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2017
Impact Acceleration Account - University Of Strathclyde 2012 / RA8910
Wodehouse, Andrew (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 30-Jan-2015

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Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management
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