Maciver, Fiona, Malins, Julian and Liapis, Aggelos (2015) NEW CONTEXTS, REQUIREMENTS AND TOOLS TO ENHANCE COLLABORATIVE DESIGN PRACTICE. In: 11th European Academy of Design Conference, 22-24 April 2015, Paris Decarte University. (Unpublished)


The competitive, post-recessionary business environment is increasing pressures on the design industry to accelerate the cycle of product development. This has clear repercussions for product design practice. Design practitioners are under pressure to quickly develop products which will have immediate success in fiercely competitive markets. The ability to creatively innovate alongside other NPD (new product development) stakeholders has become a priority. Whilst collaboration has always been a cornerstone of design, the new contexts require a greater degree of transparency, sharing and communication amongst crossdisciplinary stakeholders. In order to be fit for purpose the available ICT tools need to evolve if they are to meet these challenges. An interdisciplinary research project entitled ‘COnCEPT’ (Collaborative Creative Design Platform) has been established, and is funded under the European Commission Framework 7 programme. The project examines how technology can be used to support collaborative and creative design practice. This paper reports on the literature surrounding collaboration in creative practices. The current context of professional design practice is described and qualitative research exploring shortcomings in the ICT set-up in design studios is examined. The paper sets out a case study to illustrate how the COnCEPT platform will address designers’ requirements for a collaborative software environment. Key features of the software are described – for example, real-time collaborative sketching spaces, ‘smart’ search tools, and the automatic generation of mood boards – which aim to facilitate creativity and streamline collaboration. The paper explores the potential of the platform, delineating its value in the design process.

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