Journal of Design Research, 6 (3), 2007 – interesting articles
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[German title: Journal of Design Research, 6 (3), 2007 – interessante Artikel]

Empirical research on information and knowledge management in designing: where are we and where do we go from here? 295 – 310
Kristina Lauche

Abstract: Research into information and knowledge management in designing needs to take the specific context and challenges of design activities into account, but it should also draw on existing research and theories about how other professionals deal with complex tasks, how they search for solutions and share and develop knowledge in comparable settings. The author’s experience of several research projects and a review of recent conferences show that the state of the art is rather piecemeal and rarely founded on existing social science knowledge. This situation is interpreted as pre-normal science in Kuhn’s sense and as a result of structural obstacles for interdisciplinary collaboration in the academic world. Since knowledge management is a particularly striking example of the relevance of cognitive, social and organisational aspects of understanding design activity, the paper proposes avenues into the psychological literature with the aim of stimulating well-founded empirical research in this area.

Keywords: human behaviour; design process; knowledge management; organisational learning; information management; psychology.

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An empirical study of engineering knowledge dynamics in a design situation 333 – 358
Guy Prudhomme, Franck Pourroy, Kristine Lund

Abstract: After presenting our empirical research framework (the COSMOCE Project, which focused on collaborative and synchronous design activities), we explain why knowledge dynamics is a matter of interest for understanding and modelling the product design process and rationale. The assumption is made that an argumentative situation – typical of product design – is a good means to study knowledge dynamics with regard to the design problem (requirements definition) and the solution. A theoretical framework incorporating our point of view on the concepts of knowledge, collaborative design and argumentation is presented, to justify the design experiment situation we constructed. The empirical study that was carried out is then presented with a description of the situation through the proposed task, the participants, the tools they used, the steps they took, the instructions given to them, the resources put at their disposal and the deliverables expected from them. The collected data are described and some examples are given. Finally, we describe our analysis method and present some results related to knowledge dynamics.

Keywords: argumentation; collaborative design; design experiments; knowledge dynamics; engineering knowledge; synchronous design; modelling; product design; distributed design; distant design; concurrent engineering.

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