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The integration of information and ideas : creating linkages through a novel concept design method

Wodehouse, Andrew and Ion, W.J. (2010) The integration of information and ideas : creating linkages through a novel concept design method. Parsons Journal for Information Mapping, 2 (2). pp. 1-7.

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This paper describes the ICR Grid as a novel representation of information and ideas. Developed as a method for enhancing utilization of digital information sources in conceptual design, the name is derived from the cognitive processes (inform, create, reflect) that are systematically employed and the resulting grid output. As a prescriptive method, it requires design teams to find and build information resources in parallel with creating solutions. It does, however, maintain the freedom of designers to decide on the direction of exploration, and encourages flexible thinking by using an activity-based approach. The output of the method is a linked grid of information sources and their application that emphasizes their relationships and evolution over time. The paper reviews the evaluation of a prototype ICR Grid in a number of industrial scenarios using a shared OneNote document, and outlines the development path for future bespoke implementations. As digital technologies and organizational strategies continue to rapidly evolve, this work is timely in bringing new thoughts on how information is sourced, used and managed in the development of ideas. Issues regarding team structures and interaction, information reuse, and the capture of rationale are also addressed in relation to the grid format. It is anticipated the findings will be of particular interest to industrial designers, information specialists, and the digital library community, as well as being of relevance to any organization undertaking idea generation or problem solving.