Dealing with uncertainty in design practice: issues for designer-centered methodology

Jaap Daalhuizen, Petra Badke-Schaub, Stephen Batill

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Design is at the core of successful innovation. While working on innovation projects designers have to deal with the uncertainty associated with complexity, multi-disciplinarity and outcomes that in the early phases are not - and are not supposed to be - foreseeable. Design methodology aims to support the designer by providing structure and thus assist in dealing with uncertainty. However, design methodology often does not provide methodological support that is adaptable to the individual's needs in situations of unusual or high uncertainty, referred to herein as non-routine situations. We define non-routine situations as being associated with levels or types of uncertainty in which the designer does not obviously know how to proceed. In this paper we present the results of a study which addressed the non-routine situations design practitioners encounter in practice, the way they respond to these situations and the role of design methodology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICED 09 - The 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol 9: Human Behavior in Design
PublisherDesign Society
Publication date2009
ISBN (Print)9781904670131
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event17th International Conference on Engineering Design - Stanford, United States
Duration: 24 Aug 200927 Aug 2009
Conference number: 17


Conference17th International Conference on Engineering Design
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address




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