A Methodology for comparing design processes.
We gain insights into design processes by recognising similarities to other processes, often in radically different industries. The crucial determinants of what happens are characteristics shared with some other design processes. But there is no way to draw on comparisons beyond one's own experience. We are developing a programme of comparative design research that aims to map the similarities and differences between design processes, and develop a deeper understanding of how and why design is done differently in different industries, and how effective practices can be transferred between industries. In this paper we outline a methodology for creating analyses of design processes that facilitates both cross-process comparisons and the integration of different analytical perspectives on design. The analyst draws on a catalogue of previous design process descriptions for useful concepts, to map processes as a network of participants and activities and the relationships between them, and describe the causal relationships between the properties of the participants, activities and relationships.
Citation:Stacey, M.K., Earl, C.F., Eckert, C.M. and O'Donovan, B.D. (2003) A Methodology for Comparing Design Processes, Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering Design, Design Society, KTH, Stockholm.