Designer behaviour and activity: An industrial observation method

Philip Cash, Ben Hicks, Stephen J Culley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

9 Citations (Scopus)


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 to practice, it is thus important to fully understand this relationship. To address this, an observational method is proposed that focuses on characterizing the activities and behaviors 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
Title of host publicationDS 68-2: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design
Subtitle of host publicationVol. 2: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08.2011
PublisherThe Design Society
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781904670223
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED)
PublisherThe Design Society
ISSN (Print)2220-4334


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


Dive into the research topics of 'Designer behaviour and activity: An industrial observation method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this