Communication and Design Process Planning: Initial Insights from Literature and Industry Interviews

DS 58-1: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 1, Design Processes, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: De Lessio, Mark Philip; Wynn, David C.; Clarkson, P. John
Section: Design Processes
Page(s): 583-594


There is a complementary and bi-directional relationship between communication among design process participants and the planning activity in design. However, while often implied, this relationship is rarely discussed directly in the literature. This paper reports on the first year of a PhD research project to explore this relationship through an empirical study of engineering industry. We discuss the relationship between design planning and communication as revealed in the literature. This is supported by seven interviews with designers and managers in a range of companies and market sectors, between 1 and 3 hours in duration. The paper highlights the reciprocal relationship between how communication enhances the planning activity and how the planning activity enables communication. We discuss further work to explore this area through a survey to investigate how planning practice is conducted in industry. By better understanding the relationship between planning and communication in design, we hope to identify new directions for research into tools and methodologies to improve planning practice in industry.

Keywords: Design Process, Planning Activity, Communication


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