Sustainable Design: A Cross-Continental Perspective


Sophie Isaksson Hallstedt, Els Du Bois, Bernard Shibwabo, Yakhoub Ndiaye, Adam Mallelieu, Margareta Norell Bergendahl, Panos Papalambros, Robert Machera, Eliab Z. Opiyo, Romuald Ashuza, Noela Shisiali, Dunja Stevanovic, Michelle Wanyang

Organised by: Sustainable Design SIG and Africa-Design Initiative

Workshop description:

The proposed workshop seeks to build on synergies between the Sustainable Design SIG and the AFRICA-DESIGN initiative of the Design Society. As sustainability receives increasing attention worldwide, the viewpoint of different cultures, economies, and territories needs to be taken into account progressively more also with regards to design. The workshop will particularly build on the immense work that has been done over the years by the AFRICA-DESIGN initiative to provide a unique perspective in terms of sustainable design practice and education.

The workshop’s objectives are: (i) evaluate the education and practice of sustainable design in different contexts in relation to the various sustainability dimensions (e.g., environmental, social, economic, resilience orientation); (ii) brainstorm modalities of achieving sustainable design in resource-constrained settings; (iii) brainstorm design for mutual learning and sustainability, including the differences, opportunities, and synergies; (iv) develop an actionable plan and identify global teams that can undertake specific sustainable design events.

We will employ a scenario-based method to assess a “product solution” from a sustainability and lifecycle perspective in an African context, and propose changes to meet a desired more sustainable solution in Africa. The workshop will involve the presentation of an overview of remarkable differences in the understanding of sustainable design in various contexts to the collection of ideas in separate groups up to the development of a plan of initiatives to reinforce connections and share best practices. The intended target audience includes design scholars and educators, possibly across more continents. Experts in designing in specific contexts, with emphasis on resource-limited situations, are welcome to share their experiences. The workshop intends to raise a discussion on the sustainability of solutions emerged in these contexts and the repeatability of the process in other territories with similar and dissimilar social and economic conditions.


Is empathy a foundation for shared situational awareness within collaborative design?


Amy Grech, Ross Brisco, Dorothy Evans, Ian Whitfield

Organised by: Collaborative Design SIG

Workshop description:

Successful collaborative engineering practices have demonstrated significant benefits to industry: improving efficiency; eliminating rework due to information inconsistencies; managing complexity and automating parts of the collaborative design process. Despite these benefits, collaborative endeavours fail due to obstacles such as: sharing knowledge through ineffective communication methods; co-ordinating stakeholders with divergent objectives; managing teams with cultural and leadership differences; and configuring collaborative networks towards a long term and strategic vision. Changing innovation landscapes have the potential to radically advance collaborative practices to develop more user-centred, innovative and customised products in a timelier manner.

The aim of this workshop is to explore the concepts of empathy and shared situational awareness in the context of collaborative design to establish whether there is a logical basis for empathy being a foundational element for supporting shared situational awareness.

Situational awareness may be defined as the ability of an individual to maintain an accurate and sufficiently complete cognitive model of their environment to support their decision making. From a collaborative design perspective, shared situational awareness reflects the extent to which the situational awareness of the individuals within a team overlaps. This could, for example, relate to an unexpected situation within an engineering programme where there is a deviation from expectation that requires input from team members to agree on a new course of action. The challenge is to establish the extent to which the team agrees on the situation, in order to formulate the best solution. This challenge would obviously be confounded when considering collaborating individuals from different engineering disciplines, cultural backgrounds, and levels of engineering experience.

Within this context, empathy is described as representing an ability to reflect on a situation from another individual’s perspective and adjust actions accordingly. Whilst it may generally be considered as a component of emotional intelligence, it has been established that it represents an individuals’ ability to understand the situation of another and provide help.

This workshop, through a series of directed questions and attendee participation, will subsequently investigate whether the natural empathetic abilities of individuals within a collaborative design team, form the foundation for establishing a shared situational awareness, and can improve collaborative decision making. The workshop will explore whether empathy can be measured within a collaborative design context, as well as the extent to which we share our situational awareness.

Participation will be entirely voluntary, and ethical data collection practices will be adopted throughout. The workshop is anticipated to last for approximately three hours. The outcome of the workshop would lead to a better understanding of the role that empathy has in supporting this particular aspect of collaborative design. This workshop relates to the DESIGN Conference themes of Human Behaviour and Design, Creativity and Design, Organisation, Collaboration, and Management.


Multi-user Centric Co-Creation


Shakuntala Acharya, Akane Matsumae

Organised by: Design Creativity SIG

Workshop description:

Every designer is inherently motivated to develop creative solutions, and 'usefulness' is a key contributing factor to it. Designing solutions requires knowledge of several domains, consideration of multiple users, and the mitigation of a large number of needs. In such wicked situations, participatory approaches are usually employed, bringing the multiple users into the co-creation process. Yet, designers struggle with identifying the needs of the multiple users and prioritising the same, with respect to its 'usefulness'. In addition, these various user-types may be reserved and may lack confidence and the clarity to communicate their needs in early design stages, and ideas and feedback in latter design stages, effectively.

Thus, to engage the multiple users in the co-creation activity, designers require to: (i) set a conducive atmosphere for communication and (ii) ask the 'right questions' to draw out their valuable responses. The motivation of this workshop is to test a 'toolkit' developed to aid designers with the difficult activities of empathising and need analysis, and gain further understanding on 'what are the 'right' kinds of questions to ask?' the users to enable co-creation.

Format and Timing:

4-6 Groups of 5 members each will partake in a co-creation process of a given design situation/problem, total workshop – 150 mins

  • Brief introduction of the process & ‘toolkit’ by Workshop chairs [20 mins]
  • Group work 1 : Role Playing through Cards & Empathy Mapping [30 mins]
  • Break [10 mins]
  • Group work 2 : Needs identification and Prioritisation [30 mins]
  • Group presentation [20 mins]
  • Feedback, Conclusions and Discussions [40 mins]

Expected Outcomes:

  • Preliminary testing of ‘toolkit’ & feedback
  • Creating understanding and empathy for multiple users/stakeholders in the participants
  • Collectively identifying the “right kinds of Questions” that improve communication gaps that need to be addressed (and maybe future research areas)


Human Designers, Software Defined Vehicles and AI Agents


Kostas Stylidis, Bastian Quattelbaum, Cyriel Diels

Organised by: Data-Informed Design SIG

Workshop description:

Data-informed design refers to the practice of using quantitative and qualitative data to inform and guide the design process. In a world where data is abundant, it's becoming increasingly important for designers to leverage insights from data to create more effective, user-friendly, and impactful designs. Instead of relying solely on intuition or aesthetic preferences, designers now have the tools to understand user behaviors, preferences, and pain points in a more detailed manner. The fusion of data-informed design and AI represents a paradigm shift in the design world.

Software-Defined Vehicles (SDVs) are the next generation of cars that run on clean energy sources, like electric batteries, and have sophisticated safety and customer experience features. These vehicles are designed with a flexible architecture that allows for easy updates, much like how our phone's software gets updated, ensuring they stay modern over time. They need advanced tools for development, powerful computers to handle their operations, and complex cloud systems to keep them up-to-date. Leaders in the auto industry, such as Hyundai and Mercedes, and tech giants like AWS, are progressing towards vehicles that utilize 'zonal architectures'—a setup essential for SDVs to reach their full potential. The capabilities of zonal SDVs, combined with continued cost improvements, will make such vehicles strong value creators for automakers and users alike (consumers or business fleet operators).

We will focus on one important zonal architecture – Perceived Quality Intelligent Agent prototype. Participants will have a chance to dive into the real case scenario - "Digitalization of the next generation premium SUV instrument panel". This workshop is a mix of real-world cases and activity-based learning. Workshop is divided into three main phases:

  1. Functional design of an automotive component without support of AI tools and data.
  2. Functional design of an automotive component with the principles of Data- Informed Design and help of AI Agent prototype.
  3. Industry talk presenting real world applications of D-I-D

The expected outcome of the workshop is a proposal for publication and summaries.


The Challenges of Assessment in Project-based Design Education


Elies Dekoninck, Erik Bohemia, Francesca Mattioli, Gordon Krauss, Hilary Grierson, Ross Brisco, Yakhoub Ndiaye

Organised by: Design Education SIG

Workshop description:

Within Design Education, there are a wide range of common practices of assessment on open-ended projects. When considering capstone or industrial collaboration projects between students and an industry partner, there is a wide variance on what is being assessed. In some cases, we cannot see past the final outcome of the students’ projects to be able to assess the success of the design process nor the extent to which the students have met the learning outcomes of the design course. In other cases, the marking schema and rubrics may be so detailed and constraining that markers compensate and deviate to capture student achievement. Furthermore, having a company stakeholder can further complicate assessment, as we consider how much of an influence they should play on the awarded grade.

Even though project-based learning is comprehensively adopted across Design Education, key challenges in assessment still need to be resolved and best-practice still needs sharing more widely. Whilst we don’t expect to come to a perfect solution for all, challenges can be collected and clustered. Existing solutions and best practices can then be mapped to those challenges, to start to create a library of solutions and identify gaps in the knowledge.

This workshop will first present the state-of-the-art literature on the challenges and solutions for Assessment in Project-based Design Education. Then the workshop will capture first hand experiences from the workshop participants of both the challenges and the solutions. From this, we will gain rich first-hand insights from all participants ranging from experts to new design educators. A group activity will then map solutions and best practice to the main challenges identified. This will provide the basis for a discussion of the gaps in the knowledge and an articulation of the initial ideas for further collaborative research.

The outcomes of this workshop will be conducted to map the challenges and solutions of the complexity across the spectrum of design education and analysis, using real-world experience from design educators, and will lead to a better understanding of assessment in Project-based Design Education.


Nature as an Innovative Catalyst and Model in Design for Additive Manufacturing


Tino Stanković, Nicholas Meisel, Serena Graziosi

Organised by: Design for Additive Manufacturing SIG

Workshop description:

Nature has always been a relevant source of inspiration for humankind. Experts in multiple fields, from biologists to physicists, designers, and architects, have seen the potential in its working mechanisms and laws, its multiscale organization, and its capability of preserving ecosystems’ equilibrium through an efficient use of resources while still adapting to external changes. Multiple examples exist where Nature’s designs have been implemented to solve pressing challenges, from mimicking natural patterns and shapes to design structures or implementing Nature’s working principles to enrich technical products with new functionalities. Today’s technological advancements in production, computational resources, and material synthesis have further advanced the potential for nature-inspired solutions. Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies, in particular, have unlocked the possibility of fabricating organic and multiscale material arrangements, while computational strategies are now making it possible to formalize algorithms that generate solutions similar to those found in Nature. The latest scientific advances in additive manufacturing also enable the possibility of growing and deploying living cells and tissues, which leads to the potential for naturally designed solutions simultaneously manufactured with natural materials. The workshop will explore the myriad ways in which additive manufacturing has further unlocked the ability to realize designs more in tune with Nature and its principles. The workshop will also stimulate discussions on whether, from a design science perspective, the additive manufacturing community is properly and effectively capitalizing on the richness of possible design solutions offered by Nature and what design approaches can be put in place to utilize these solutions in the design process even more. The audience will be challenged to reflect on how the principles found in nature could be further explored and transformed into more purposeful and performance-efficient technical products, thanks to the help of AM technology and the digital revolution.

Examples of expected outcomes are the following:

  • Contribution through lectures delivered by experts from fields outside the Design Society
  • Stimulate potential collaborations with Design Society experts in the field of bioinspired design
  • The workshop chairs could reflect on the possibility to formalise the workshop outcomes into a white paper or other types of publications


New digital technologies in Health Systems Design


Anja Maier, Maaike Kleinsmann, John Clarkson

Organised by: Health Systems Design SIG

Workshop description:

Disruptive digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, or augmented reality are increasingly applied to the health domain. Yet, the widespread adoption of these technologies across health systems might hold delicate, hard to predict large-scale implications, including new forms of systemic bias and exclusion. In order to reap the much-needed benefits of new digital technologies while reducing the risk for negative consequences, health designers need to familiarize themselves with these issues, and learn to examine them from a system perspective.

In this workshop, we will collectively explore these topics, aiming at informing, challenging, and engaging participants with future health technology scenarios. The intended target audience for the workshop consists of design researchers and practitioners involved or interested in healthcare applications.

First, the overall approach the SIG takes to health systems design will be introduced. Then, novel digital technologies will be presented, and their potential relevance for health systems will be collaboratively explored in randomly allocated groups. Following, groups will be asked to define and present one or more examples of future health systems scenarios, envisioning widespread adoption of selected examples of digital technologies. Groups will then be asked to reflect on relevant design insights for the present, based on a critical analysis of the generated future scenarios. Finally, results from different groups will be compared and discussed in a plenary conclusive conversation. Through collaboration and discussion, different perspectives from the design community will be collectively explored and compared.

Overall, the workshop is expected to result in a collection of health-relevant future technology scenarios and in a set of design-relevant implications and reflections. These results could provide the basis for a future conference publication.


How to use Prototypes in Product Development


Kristin Paetzold-Byhain, Lino Stoiber

Organised by: Human Behaviour in Design SIG

Workshop description:

Prototypes play a major role in product development. They not only serve to verify development results, but also support validation by the customer. Within development, prototypes are also an effective means of exploration. Last but not least, they are used to communicate with various stakeholders within the development process.

However, prototypes usually also reflect the degree of development maturity. As a result, not only high-fidelity prototypes are available in the course of development. Rather, a wide variety of product artefacts that are created during the course of development are generally used as prototypes. This raises the question of whether the various product artefacts, which ultimately only reflect parts of the functionality and design of the resulting product, are understood and interpreted equally by all stakeholders. However, this appears to be a basic prerequisite for being able to plausibilise decisions based on the use of prototypes.

As part of the workshop, requirements for prototypes to fulfil the tasks assigned to them (validation, communication, exploration) will be determined and different types of prototypes will be discussed with regard to their usability.


Identifying Hot and Emerging Topics in Engineering Design


Kilian Gericke, Claudia Eckert, Sabine Munchik, Ola Isaksson

Organised by: Design Process SIG and Design Practice SIG

Workshop description:

Engineering designers and engineering design researchers are instrumental to realise the business ambitions for product developing organisations. The ability to understand new and complex needs, and match both existing and novel technologies into solutions, often under time pressure and with many conflicting interest.

The purpose of the workshop is bring forward outstanding “hot topics” where design research is needed and where industry have, or am directing, their focus for renewal.

Key Objectives:

  1. Indetify and prioritize hot and emerging topics in engineering design.
  2. Explore potential dependencies and connections among these topics.
  3. Foster interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange.

The outline of the workshop is that after a short inspiration talk, participants work in groups to identify and justify the areas, open up to discuss with all participants including the path forward. Its already an ambition to follow up with on-line global workshop(s) to mobilise others.

The aim is to prepare a roadmap and publication for ICED and/or the Design Science Journal as a means to reach out to the community and beyond. The result give input that the both SIG’s can bring into their continued SIG meetings, Design Practices “hot topic” series and Design Process who lead the global study initiative on future design processes.

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