Teaching Creativity in Design Through Project-Based Learning in a Collaborative Distributed Educational Setting

  • Teruaki Ito
  • Tetsuo Ichikawa
  • Nevan C. Hanumara
  • Alexander H. Slocum


This chapter presents the challenge of teaching creativity in design through project-based learning (PBL) in a collaborated distributed educational setting. First, PBL engineering class examples regarding computer-aided design for a toy modeling and original design/modeling for a remote controlled robot are presented, as a starting point of this challenge, from two different institutions, or the University of Tokushima in Japan and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA. After reviewing these classes, several critical elements are identified for the success of these classes. Considering these elements, PBL provides not only an effective approach for teaching creativity in education in a university setting, but also could be applied more generally in a global setting. The second part of this chapter presents the challenge of teaching creativity in a global project using the web-based design and manufacturing of a dental milling machine, followed by a dental headrest project by the process of expectation management. Reviewing the critical roles of conventional learning management systems in these PBL classes and the current trends of cloud computing, this chapter shows the potential of cloud-based design and manufacturing to support creativity in design education.


PBL Design education Collaboration education LMS 



The author would like to acknowledge Prof. David Gossard and Prof. Ernesto Blanco of MIT for discussion regarding design class. The author would like to thank Daisuke Yonekura and Hiroyuki Ukida, and Center for Advanced Information Technology at UT for supporting CAD-EX.

The authors would like to acknowledge 2.75 Team for DMM project with Ryan Griffin, Melissa Read, Gerald Rothenhofer, and Josh Young. The authors would like to acknowledge the remote manufacturing support of Tokushima University Machine Shop with Tetsuya Sato and Junji Tamatani.

The authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Takaharu Goto of UT and the members of Ichikawa Lab for supporting DHR project. The authors would like to acknowledge the SmoothMotion team members including: Zachary D. Nelson, Wesley D. McDougal, Sammy M. Khalifa, Andrew T. Carlson, David C. Parell, and John W. Romanishin. The authors would like to thank Drs. Ed Seldin and Grace M. Collura, Chief of MIT Dental Service, for their advice and local mentorship.

The authors would like to thank Prof. Shuichi Fukuda from Stanford University, for his comments and advice to the projects. The authors would like to thank Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology for its support and J. Morita Corporation for donation of experimental materials.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teruaki Ito
    • 1
  • Tetsuo Ichikawa
    • 2
  • Nevan C. Hanumara
    • 3
  • Alexander H. Slocum
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Technology and ScienceThe University of TokushimaTokushimaJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Health BioscienceThe University of TokushimaTokushimaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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