Exploring the decomposition of team design activity

DS 87-8 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 8: Human Behaviour in Design, 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: Martinec, Tomislav; Škec, Stanko; Štorga, Mario
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Zagreb, Croatia
Section: Human Behaviour in Design
Page(s): 229-238
ISBN: 978-1-904670-96-4
ISSN: 2220-4342


Presented research explores the nature of teamwork activity in the conceptual design phase with an aim to unfold the patterns of team behaviour during execution of a specific design task. Teamwork activity process is observed as a sequence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation design operations applied to the problem and solution spaces. Design operations are used to represent abstract and fine-granularity steps of exploring and modifying the problem-solution space. Protocol study was conducted to investigate if teamwork activity can be decomposed into patterns of design operations and problem-solution alternation. Brainstorming sessions of two design teams were coded by employing an operation-based coding scheme. Protocol segmentation revealed the distribution of design operations and problem-solution related discussion, as well as the distribution of transitions between design operations. The emphasis is placed on the cycles of synthesis and analysis that appear within both problem and solution space, but also in-between the two spaces, thus indicating the co-evolution of the problem-solution space. These findings support and complement what has been reported in the literature.

Keywords: Design process, Conceptual design, Protocol analysis, Teamwork, Human behaviour in design


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