Collaborative Design: A Real World Study of How Design Team Members Communicate Design Concepts

By Anthony Philip Williams.

Published by The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Although individual designers can successfully implement a multi-dimensional approach, large and complex design projects also invariably require collaborative work among designers. This paper considers the question of collaboration in large design projects and, more specifically, the concept of Multi Disciplinary Design Teams (MDDTs) and the communication strategies employed to achieve shared understanding. The paper reports on the findings of a research project that analyses the design processes of professional design practitioners in the workplace environment, using a range of established ethnographic research methods. The research reveals some significant anomalies that challenge our two main measures of performance: expertise and success. The research identified various success profiles of successful communication, which is distinct from conventional concepts of design expertise and differs according to the designers’ ability to articulate their design thinking to other members of the team. The project monitored team members of a MDDT, drawn from a range of design disciplines including engineers, architects, urban planners and industrial designers, and considered success in communicating design concepts within this context.

Keywords: Design Communication, Design Teams

The International Journal of Design Management and Professional Practice, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 486.484KB).

Prof. Anthony Philip Williams

Head of School, School of Architecture and Built Environment, Avondale College & The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Tony is currently Vice President (Research) of Avondale College but also holds a joint position as Professor in the School of Architecture and Built Environment with the University of Newcastle. Tony’s research is in the field of Design He is published widely in the field of Design Thinking including Design Communication and Design Cognition.