Collaborative Design Process

“Philemon and other figures of my fantasies brought home to me the crucial insight that there are things in the psyche which I do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their own life.”
—C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

from NewsScan Daily, 14 May 1999:


Systems designers Tone Bratteteig and Erik Stolterman say that designers need to forget themselves for the benefit of the group: "The group cannot function if it has to maintain a large amount of individual preconceptions and personal experiences. The design group must, as a whole, have the ability and the opportunity to leave things behind, that is, select what to remember." If designers are to come up with novel ideas, they may have to forget what was 'named and framed' as a problem or solution earlier in the process.

A group of designers needs to work its way through ideas, visions, and operative images without being held up by heavy demands for documentation of the process. In a creative design process one thing leads to another, analogies and metaphors influence the design thinking in new ways, and a certain amount of chaos is always present... "The characteristics of oral cultures can be applied to group design... Group members need to repeat themselves, to be redundant and nonlinear in their arguments, to forget, to make references and analogies in a situated and intuitive way."

(From Tone Bratteteig & Erik Stolterman, "Design in Groups—And All That Jazz," in: M. Kyng & L. Mathiassen, "Computers and Design in Context," MIT Press 1997.)

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