Multidisciplinary convergence about “product-use” couple: Intermediary object’s structure

DS 75-5: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13) Design For Harmonies, Vol. 5: Design for X, Design to X, Seoul, Korea 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Mahdjoub, Morad; Al Khatib, Ahmad; Bluntzer, Jean-Bernard; Sagot, Jean-Claude
Series: ICED
Institution: IRTES-SeT,UTBM, 90010 Belfort cedex, France
Page(s): 021-030
ISBN: 978-1-904670-48-3
ISSN: 2220-4334


Companies call for collaborative work practices and user-centered design approaches to consider use value and user experiences into product design process as a way to propose innovative products to the market. Indeed, collaborative work is especially needed in the convergent phases of design process. However, the actors in the design team have different viewpoints making it difficult to curry out the convergence between them. So, intermediary objects (IOs) are used as supports of the social interactions and communication. However, IOs are loosely defined, loosely structured. They are viewed as just the product model and even sometimes confused with the technologies that support them. Thus, the aim of this paper is to introduce the concept and the roles of IOs and to propose framework to define a structure for these objects. Based on a case study in virtual environment, the framework proposes that IO is the result of seven interdependent models: product model, product use model, interaction model, support tools model, rules and instructions model, evaluation model and convergence situation model. This framework could be used as a base for designing and choosing the IO.

Keywords: Collaborative design, design for ergonomics, design process, multidisciplinary convergence, intermediary objects.


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