The PSI matrix – A framework and a theory of design

DS 87-7 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 7: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Reich, Yoram; Subrahmanian, Eswaran
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Tel Aviv University, Israel; 2: Carnegie Mellon University, United States of America
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology
Page(s): 011-020
ISBN: 978-1-904670-95-7
ISSN: 2220-4342

Abstract

Real life design situations often involve addressing complex multidisciplinary problems that are hard to formulate and solve, attempted by a diverse group of people, working in different organizations with different cultures, collaborating through a variety of contracts. Many design efforts fail due to incomplete understanding of design contexts. Can we create a framework that will help us unpack this complexity into a structure that allows us to explain, predict, and control failures and improve such situations to help organizations design better? We present a framework, called the PSI matrix that was developed by combining knowledge from diverse disciplines; following numerous case studies with industry to address the above-mentioned challenge. We describe the framework and its evolution from an earlier version, demonstrate its applicability to several diverse design examples, and mention several other cases on which it was tested. We have found it to be robust in supporting its objectives and continue to develop it to improve its added value to design by conducting multi-case, transdisciplinary, multi-context study with numerous partners.

Keywords: Design management, Design theory, Organisation of product development, Framework of design

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