Morphological Chart

A morphological chart is a diagrammatic method to generate ideas and forms based on function analysis. Method helps designers to explore design solutions and forms in a systematic manner. The chart sets out the complete range of solutions and form alternatives for each sub-function, which is then combined together into a final design and form. The outcomes of this method are more likely to be additive forms.

Steps

  1. List sub-functions and features that final product will consist.
  2. Draw a matrix and list sub-functions on the left column of the chart.
  3. Fill in the rows by generating sub-solutions for each sub-function.
  4. Based on the design goals, choose one sub-solution from each row and combine them to generate final solution.
  5. Draw your final solution and generate more alternatives if necessary.

Sample

Below is an example of how morphological chart is used to generate a handmixer design. At the beginning, functional parts of a handmixer is analyzed (e.g. power cord, handle, mixer arms etc.) and these sub-functions are listed. Then these sub-functions are written on the first column of a matrix.

Morphological Chart 01
For each of these sub-functions alternatives are generated (e.g. for air vent alternatives would be horizontal lines, holes and grill. Alternatives for handle would be open, closed and integrated forms).

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In the final step, from each sub-function, one solutions is selected based on the design goal (e.g. most ergonomic or cost effective handmixer) and combined together to generate the final product.