Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Building a Common Ground – The Use of Design Representation Cards for Enhancing Collaboration between Industrial Designers and Engineering Designers

By Eujin Pei, Ian Campbell and Mark A Evans


<p>To achieve success in today’s commercial environment, manufacturers have progressively adopted collaboration strategies. Industrial design has been increasingly used with engineering design to enhance competitiveness. Research between the two fields has been limited and existing collaboration methods have not achieved desired results. </p> <p> This PhD research project investigated the level of collaboration between industrial designers and engineering designers. The aim is to develop an integration tool for enhanced collaboration, where a common language would improve communication and create shared knowledge. </p> <p> An empirical research using questionnaires and observations identified 61 issues between industrial designers and engineering designers. The results were grouped and coded based on recurrence and importance, outlining 3 distinct problem categories in collaborative activity: conflicts in values and principles, differences in design representation, and education differences. A taxonomy further helped categorise design representations into sketches, drawings, models and prototypes. This knowledge was indexed into cards to provide uniform definition of design representations with key information. They should benefit practitioners and educators by serving as a decision-making guide and support a collaborative working environment. </p> <p> A pilot study first refined the layout and improved information access. The final validation involving interviews with practitioners revealed most respondents to be convinced that the tool would provide a common ground in design representations, contributing to enhanced collaboration. Additional interviews were sought from groups of final-year industrial design and engineering design students working together. Following their inter-disciplinary experience, nearly all respondents were certain that the cards would provide mutual understanding for greater product success. </p> <p> Lastly, a case study approach tested the cards in an industry-based project. A design diary captured and analysed the researchers’ activities and observations on a daily basis. It revealed positive feedback, reinforcing the benefits of the cards for successful collaboration in a multi-disciplinary environment. </p> <p> <strong>Keywords</strong><br /> Industrial Design, Engineering Design, Collaboration, Design Representation, New Product Development.</p

Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2006). About Industrial Design.
  2. (2008). An Examination of Collaboration in High-Technology NPD Processes.&quot; In:
  3. (1993). Architectural Study Drawings.
  4. (2002). Between thought and object in engineering design,
  5. (1998). Building Up Organizational Capabilities
  6. (2007). Capturing and analysing own design activity”. doi
  7. (1989). Case Study Research, Sage Publications.
  8. (2000). Collaborative Design: doi
  9. (2001). Designing collaboration in consumer products.
  10. (1989). Drawing and CAD in Industrial Design.&quot; doi
  11. (1992). Effective Product Design and Development – How to cut lead time & increase customer satisfaction, Richard D.
  12. (1992). Engineering and the mind’s eye.
  13. (1999). Engineering Design Principles.
  14. (1995). Engineering Design, 2nd edition (translated by
  15. (1991). Findings from observational studies of collaborative work. doi
  16. (1987). Fundamental Aspects of Cognitive Representation, In:
  17. (2002). Industrial Design - Engineering Design Interaction.
  18. (1996). Integrating R&D, and marketing: a review, and analysis of the literature.
  19. (2000). Intentions in and relations among design drawings.
  20. (2006). Interdisciplinary Research: Integrated Engineering and Industrial Design.&quot;
  21. (1995). Macroscopic analysis of design processes based on a scheme for coding designer’s cognitive actions’ doi
  22. (2008). Managing New Product and Process Development. In: The Organization of Integrated Product
  23. (1998). Marketing's Integration with Other Departments.&quot;
  24. (2006). Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Retrieved on 6 doi
  25. (1992). Model or prototype which, when and why? Idater 92. In:
  26. (2001). PhD Thesis: Facilitating Ecodesign in an Industrial Design Context: An Exploratory Study.
  27. (2007). Product Design and Manufacture, Undergraduate Prospectus.
  28. (1995). Sketches of thought.
  29. (1987). Study drawings in architectural design: Applications of CAD systems.
  30. (1985). Styles of learning, designing and computing. Design Studies (12) Models of the design process: integrating across the disciplines.
  31. (1969). The Aesthetics of Engineering Design.
  32. (1994). The importance of the use of physical engineering models in design,
  33. (2001). The Organisation of Integrated Product Development.
  34. (2005). Toward Enhanced Interaction between Engineering Design and Industrial Design. Chalmers University,
  35. (2001). Understanding Design Representations. Interactions July – doi
  36. (1996). Using Language.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.