Designer behaviour and activity: an industrial observation Method

Philip Cash, Ben Hicks, Stephen Culley, Filippo Salustri

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

9 Citations (SciVal)


The relationship between laboratory based study and the actual practice of engineering design is very important. For research activity, laboratory based studies have an important role. The problem is the difficulty of relating laboratory study to practice, it is thus important to fully understand this relationship. To address this, an observational method is proposed that focuses on characterising the activities and behaviours of designers in practice. The method has been developed to provide rich context, whilst avoiding information overload. The proposed method is then critically discussed with respect to the issues particularly affecting empirical design research, such as contextualization, validity and repeatability. Finally, the paper highlights the potential importance and impact of the method for developing the relationship between practice and laboratory based experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2011
EventInternational Conference on Engineering Design, ICED'11 - Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen
Duration: 15 Aug 201118 Aug 2011


ConferenceInternational Conference on Engineering Design, ICED'11
CityTechnical University of Denmark, Copenhagen


  • pilot study
  • designer activity
  • designer behaviour
  • research method


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