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The role of logbooks as mediators of engineering design work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalDesign Studies
Early online date12 Nov 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 26 Oct 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 12 Nov 2016
DatePublished (current) - Jan 2017


Information transformation is key to engineering design work. However, research on how information management tools, and logbooks in particular, mediate this, is fragmented. We explore this via two studies (from which we confirm the central role of logbooks) and propose three modes of mediation: facilitating cognition and creation, gathering and collation of information, and staging and transformation of information. The findings explain the widespread use of logbooks through their support of these three modes. Consequently, we contend that multi-modal mediation is one of the main reasons why logbooks are such a central and enduring medium. This synthesises and extends theory on mediation and information use in engineering design. Further, practical insights are derived for the development new information management tools.

    Research areas

  • information processing, design knowledge, reflective practice, logbooks

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 4.46 MB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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