SOLVING GLOBAL PROBLEMS USING COLLABORATIVE DESIGN PROCESSES
DS 68-1: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 1: Design Processes, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
In this paper we argue that use of collaborative design processes is a powerful means of bringing together different stakeholders and generating ideas in complex design situations. The collaborative design process was used in a workshop with international participants where the goal was to propose new solutions that would help solve the global problem of sanitation. Lack of sanitation is a problem for 42% of the world’s population but it is also a taboo topic that only very few people will engage in. In the one-day workshop participants from very different areas came together and brought forward proposed solutions for how to design, brand and make business models for how to solve aspects of the sanitation problem. The workshop showed that it was possible to work freely with such a taboo topic and that in particular the use of visualisation tools, i.e. drawing posters and building simple physical models strongly enhanced mutual understanding and exchange of ideas. Furthermore, the introduction of biological solution analogies also showed to be fruitful for the generation of new ideas for product design.