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Towards an understanding of the impact of resources on the design process

Boyle, Iain and Duffy, Alex H. B. and Whitfield, R. Ian and Liu, Shaofeng (2009) Towards an understanding of the impact of resources on the design process. In: 17th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED `09), 2009-08-24 - 2009-08-27.

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Abstract

Considerable effort has been devoted within the design research community to understanding the structure of design processes and their development for different design problems. Whilst much work has examined the impact of design goals upon the structure of a design process, less attention has been paid to the role that design resources can play. This paper describes an experiment directed towards gaining an understanding of the impact that both active resources (which perform design tasks) and passive resources (which are used by active resources) can have upon design process structure. Main outcomes from the experiment were the conclusive identification that resources can significantly impact design process structure and a number of examples of how these impacts manifest themselves. The main conclusion of the paper is that given the sizeable impact resources can have upon process structure, there is a considerable need to obtain a greater understanding of these impacts to facilitate the development of techniques that can support design process definition based upon an understanding of the design resources being used to solve a design problem.