EXPLORING THE SYNTHESIS OF INFORMATION IN DESIGN PROCESSES – OPENING THE BLACK-BOX

DS 68-6: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 6: Design Information and Knowledge, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011

Year: 2011
Editor: Culley, S.J.; Hicks, B.J.; McAloone, T.C.; Howard, T.J. & Chen, W.
Author: Gumienny, Raja; Lindberg, Tilmann; Meinel, Christoph
Section: Design Information and Knowledge Management
Page(s): 446-455

Abstract

Information synthesis is an important part of design processes as it ensures to integrate, organize, filter, and evaluate essential information and constraints for the design solution. However, there are various methods, conditions and characteristics of synthesis and it is surprising that little research has focused on this subject yet. In this paper, we outline different approaches to information synthesis and report on our findings from interviews with designers in educational and corporate environments. From these findings we derive a framework in which we suggest to describe the characteristics of information synthesis via the chosen design paradigm as well as ten particular research perspectives. We regard this framework as a basis to understand information synthesis in greater detail and to show possible fields of future research. Additionally, it allows deriving insights how inexperienced designers as well as people from other domains who are involved in the design process can be supported.

Keywords: SYNTHESIS; SENSEMAKING; INFORMATION ANALYSIS; FRAMING; DESIGN PARADIGMS

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