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PHD-DESIGN  2000

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Subject:

A Heuristic Map for Digitally Integrated Design

From:

Nina Warburton & Sebastian Read <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Nina Warburton & Sebastian Read <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 05 Aug 2000 21:09:23 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (178 lines)

Apologies for any cross posting.

To introduce myself and my request to the list. I am a full time (&
more!) design consultant and I am in the final stages of completing a
PhD investigating the use of 3D computing as a communication tool within
the industrial design process. My involvement in design as a
practitioner has been core to the way I have both conducted and
communicated the results of the study. Due to the intense work pressures
that this work situation has caused I have been a bit of a lurker on
this list, however, I hope you will bear with me and consider assisting
me in an important peer review element of my PhD study.

Part of the conclusions of my research programme are presented in the
form of an interactive map, accessable via a web site
http://www.cfid.co.uk/portfolio/research/Nina/ENTER.HTM This piece of
work attempts to bring the findings of academic research to a wider
audience within the design community. The objective of putting the map
on this site is to assess not only the findings of the research
programme but to assess the appropriateness of communicating research
findings in this kind of way. The map focuses on the use of media as a
communication tool within the design process and attempts to chart media
use within the context of various design 'actions', presenting a use
summary which includes reasons for use & characteristics.

The findings are based on three commercial case studies carried out at
The Centre for Industrial Design at the University of Northumbria at
Newcastle (UNN) over a period of time between 1991 & 1996. Although to a
certain extent technology has moved on, the map functions on the premise
that the basic decisions which designers make as to which communication
media to use have remained largely unchanged. Please bear the time-frame
of the studies in mind when considering the findings.

The objective for this posting is to obtain feedback on the map from
peers in the design community in general. Once you have looked at the
map, I would be grateful if you could answer a simple questionnaire. The
map contains a link to a downloadable pdf questionnaire, this can be
faxed back to me on 0208 354 2971. Alternatively there is an email form
of the questionnaire following, although a little clunky, this may be
easier to fill in. I apologise for the lack of a more sophisticated web
form. The map is best viewed using Internet Explorer V4.0 and above. The
map contains a couple of bugs using Netscape Navigator that I have been
unable to eradicate within my time-scale - I apologise in advance for
these. For those interested in more detail, an abstract follows the
questionnaire.

Thanks in advance,

Nina

QUESTIONNAIRE
A Heuristic Map for Digitally Integrated Design - Peer Review

1. Please indicate your area of expertise (please indicate all that
apply):
A: designer.  B: design manager.  C: educator.  D: researcher

2. Do you, your company or institution use 3D computing as a regular
part of your design process, educational programme or research activity?

A: yes.  B: no.  C: dont know

3. If NO, are you, your company or institution considering using 3D
computing as a regular part of your design process, educational
programme or research activity?
A: yes.  B: no.  C: dont know

4. If YES: Please identify the 3D software you use on a regular basis:

Having had a chance to study the map...

5. Do you think that the map has any relevance to the everyday practice
of industrial design, in terms of the choices that designers have to
make with respect to the tools that they use?
A: yes.  B: no.  C: dont know.  COMMENTS:

6. Do you think the map is  a relevant method of presenting research
findings to a wider audience, i.e. professional designers?
A: yes.  B: no.  C: dont know.  COMMENTS:

7. Can you imagine any circumstance in which such a map might be of use
to you?
A: yes.  B: no.  C: dont know.  COMMENTS:

If YES or DONT KNOW please go on to Question 8.
If NO, please go on to Question 10

8. Can you envisage using the map in any of the following contexts?
(please tick all that apply):
A: Commercial design project.
B: Academic design project.
C: Company design methods review.
D: Personal methods review.
E: Company research programme.
F: Personal research programme.
G: Personal interest.
H: Teaching purposes.
I: Other

9. If you have selected any of the above, can you indicate for each
where or how you might envisage using the map within these contexts.
Please put the appropriate number(s) next to the selection. Please
select from the following & use as few or as many numbers as is
appropriate.
(i): At the beginning of a project (before the real process of design
has started),
(ii): When you have a problem ( as a point of reference)
(iii): As a checkpoint (to see how your process relates to/differs from
map)
(iv): After the project (to see how your process relates to/differs from
map)
(vi): Other,  please comment

10. Were there areas of the model with which you strongly agree /
disagree?
A: Yes (please identify).  B: No.  C: Dont know

11. Were there characteristics statements with which you strongly agreed
/ disagreed?
A: Yes (please identify).  B: No.  C: Dont know

12. Is there anything you would like to see added or removed from the
map?
A: Yes (please identify).  B: No.  C: Dont know

13. Out of necessity, certain generalisations have been made and
terminologies adopted, did you find any of these terminologies
inappropriate? If so, please indicate which and why.
A: Yes (please identify).  B: No.  C: Dont know

14. How easy / difficult did you find it to navigate the map?
A: Very easy.  B: Easy.  C: Neither easy or difficult.  D: Difficult. E:
Very difficult

15. Any other comments?


ABSTRACT
Effective communication in product design facilitates effective decision
making, which in turn is essential to a successful design process. The
medium of communication must therefore influence the decision making
process, making the appropriate selection of media key to the progress
of a project. Based on this premise, this study investigates the impact
that 3D digital media is having on designersí internal and external
modes of communication, in association with other media tools and
techniques which are used.

The aim of the study is to develop ways to inform designers using 3D
digital technologies within industrial design consultancy practice.
Analysis of a range of professional product design case-studies has
enabled the creation of a tool to assist practice. The tool helps
designers appreciate the tactical application of digital technologies,
to establish the points at, the means by, and the reasons why digital
media might be employed within the design process.

An Action Research framework was used, comprising the three elements of
reflective practice, reflection on practice, and reflection on
reflective practice. This methodology links to a case study compilation
and cross-case analysis method.

A heuristic map was developed to help the industrial designer understand
the appropriate use and integration of traditional and digital media
throughout the design process. Central to this understanding is the
realisation that it is more effective to design practice to consider 3D
computing as a communication tool, rather than as a design tool. The
study also bridges the gap between theory and practice, through the
amalgamation of practitioner based research and qualitative
observational research methods.

--
Nina @ home

T: +44 (0)208 740 0335
F: +44 (0)208 354 2971
E: [log in to unmask]


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