An Intelligent Design Environment - Overcoming Fundamental Barriers to Realizing a Step Change in Design Performance and Innovation?

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Hicks, Ben; McAlpine, Hamish; Blanco, Eric; Storga, Mario; Torlind, Peter; Montagna, Francesca; Cantamessa, Marco
Section: Human Behavior in Design
Page(s): 199-210


In the modern design environment, demands on performance, innovation and productivity are always increasing as global competition rises and business models, such as the product-service paradigm, evolve. Central to the ability of organisations to realise continued improvements has been the widespread adoption of new design tools, methods, technologies and processes. Arguably, today's highly distributed design teams are almost totally reliant on these elements to be successful. Whilst there is no doubt that they have improved performance in many cases, the sheer number and variety have given rise to new issues, such as information overload and analysis paralysis. This paper argues that one way to significantly improve this situation is via an "intelligent design environment" in which the tools, methods, technologies and processes are active components that - where appropriate - intervene in the design activity. A network of design research groups have held workshops to theorise about possible active elements and interventions. The results, consisting of an overview of possible design interventions, the research and technical challenges are presented, and the benefits discussed.

Keywords: teams, tools, technologies, process, performance, environment


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