Cultural Influences on Design Processes - an Empirical Study

DS 58-9: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 9, Human Behavior in Design, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Gautam, Vivek; Blessing, Lucienne
Series: ICED
Section: Human Behavior in Design
Page(s): 115-122


Product development increasingly involves designers with different cultural backgrounds. This paper describes an investigation into the effects of these different backgrounds on the design process. The objective of the research is to provide guidelines for designers working in intercultural design processes. An empirical study is carried out under participation of designers drawn from industrial practice in Germany, India and China. They are observed while solving a given design problem in a laboratory setting. The recorded design processes are analyzed with a focus on cultural characteristics, which were derived from literature. Results of the empirical study are presented. The paper focuses on the following design activities: analyzing problem and requirements, working on sub-functions and deriving selection criteria. The results indicate that the design processes are different and that these differences can be linked to the characteristics of culture. A preview of further work is given.

Keywords: Designer, culture, intercultural design process


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