Methods that Emerge from Designers' Discourse

DS 81: Proceedings of NordDesign 2014, Espoo, Finland 27-29th August 2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Miko Laakso, Kalevi Ekman
Author: de Souza van der Linden, Julio Carlos; Freitas Dos Santos, Luisa
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Section: Design theory and practices
Page(s): 560-569
ISBN: 978-1-904670-58-2


This paper presents partial results of a research conducted with product designers in Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) aiming to understand their methodological approach. Based on designers discourse we aim to verify if and how practitioners adopt formalized methods available in design literature. Our approach is qualitative and it is based on in-depth interviews and content analysis. Eighteen product designers who work in different environments, with different academic backgrounds and levels of experience, have been interviewed. We found different approaches to design processes which are related to their field of activity and experience level. Some of them use formal or quasi-structured processes, especially those who work as internal designers, but most of them adopt a flexible and, in some cases, an intuitive approach. We suggest that the nature of business and the type of experience with product development have a stronger influence in these designers’ discourses, than their academic background.

Keywords: Design methods, product design, design practices, designer discourse


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