Modelling the role of the design context in the design process: a domain-independent approach

Isabelle Reymen, P. Kroes, T Basten

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Abstract

Domain-independent models of the design process are an important means for facilitating interdisciplinary communication and for supporting multidisciplinary design. Many so-called domain-independent models are, however, not really domain independent. We state that, to be domain independent, the models must abstract from domain-specific aspects, be based on the study of several design disciplines, and be useful for many design disciplines and for multidisciplinary design teams. This paper describes a domain-independent descriptive design model that is developed by studying similarities and differences between design processes in a few design disciplines. The model is based on the general theory of state transitions. We modelled a design situation as a state at a certain moment and a design activity as a transition. We also explicitly modelled the role of the design context in design processes. In our empirical studies, we noticed the influence of the design context on the product being designed and the design process and the importance of communication between designers and stakeholders in the design context regularly during the design process. Making designers aware of the role of the design context can improve the quality of both the product being designed and the design process. The role of the design context is, however, often not explicitly taken into account in design models. We modelled the design context as part of the state at a certain moment and interaction with the design context as one of the activities performed by designers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommon Ground, Proceedings of Design Research Society International Conference 2002
EditorsD. Durling, J. Shackleton
Place of PublicationStoke on Trent, UK
PublisherStaffordshire University Press
Pages917-927
ISBN (Print)1-904133-11-8
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2002
EventDRS 2002 International Conference Common Ground, Brunel University, London, UK: Common Ground, Proceedings of Design Research Society International Conference 2002 - Stoke on Trent, UK
Duration: 5 Sep 20028 Sep 2002

Publication series

Name
PublisherStaffordshire University Press

Conference

ConferenceDRS 2002 International Conference Common Ground, Brunel University, London, UK
CityStoke on Trent, UK
Period5/09/028/09/02

Keywords

  • IR-94278
  • METIS-206389

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