Toronto Metropolitan University
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Designer behaviour and activity: an industrial observation method

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conference contribution
posted on 2021-05-21, 16:51 authored by Philip Cash, Ben Hicks, Steve Culley, Filippo SalustriFilippo Salustri
The relationship between laboratory based study and the actual practice of engineering design is very important. For research activity, laboratory based studies have an important role. The problem is the difficulty of relating laboratory study to practice, it is thus important to fully understand this relationship. To address this, an observational method is proposed that focuses on characterizing the activities and behaviors of designers in practice. The method has been developed to provide rich context, whilst avoiding information overload. The proposed method is then critically discussed with respect to the issues particularly affecting empirical design research, such as contextualization, validity and repeatability. Finally, the paper highlights the potential importance and impact of the method for developing the relationship between practice and laboratory based experiments.