Design requirements to educate and facilitate junior design professionals to reflect more effectively on critical situations and conflicts at work

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Onselen, Lenny van (1,2); De Lille, Christine (1,2); Snelders, Dirk (2)
Series: ICED
Institution: The Hague University of Applied Sciences
Section: Responsible design
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Junior designers are not trained to cope with critical situations and conflict at work. Most design schools do not educate their design students to prepare them for (potential) conflict. As a result, junior designers often do not have conflict-handling skills to handle critical situations and conflicts. While some tools and methods exist to help them make responsible design choices, these often address value differences underlying (potential) conflict without taking the perspective of the designer, and thus without supporting young designers to start by reflecting on their own intrinsic values.

The aim of this study is to find a way to help junior designers to reflect effectively on critical situations, thereby improving their conflict-handling skills. Data was collected through four steps in an action research. Researchers collaborated with an identity programme for junior design professionals. Insights from try-outs and small interventions were transferred into design requirements for an approach to educate and facilitate junior design professionals to reflect more effectively on critical situations.

Keywords: Design practice, Collaborative design, Design education, Reflection, Value-based conflicts


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