Design requirements: conditioners or conditioned

John Dairo Restrepo-Giraldo, Henri Christiaans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Considering how information systems for designers should be like, it is important to understand how designers enrich their knowledge during the design process. What triggers the queries, what strategies they use and what factors influence their behaviour in relation to information seeking? What influence has the information accessed on, for instance, the generation of design requirements? A commonly accepted view of the design process is that designers do not go from analysis to synthesis in a linear way. In fact, it is sometimes only when a solution devised that a designer is able to detect and understand important issues and requirements of the given problem. It is for this reason that the way a first approach to the design plays a very important role. Observations on design processes show that some designers devise a solution very early and some construct the solution trough a more elaborated process. By asking designers to write their interpretation of the problem shortly after having received the design brief it can be seen that there is a tendency to represent design assignments in a problem or in a solution oriented way. Differences in these tendencies have been observed to have a great influence on the quality of the results and on the information seeking behaviour of the designers. Moreover, the generation of design conditions or design requirements during the process seems to be affected by this as well. The objectives of this research are twofold. Firstly, it intends to find whether and how early representations of the design assignment condition the design process. Secondly, it intends to find what aspects in the information presented, enable a design team to generate important design requirements for the given assignment. How do early representations influence information seeking behaviour? How do information seeking behaviour and the generation of design requirements influence each other? In two studies the role of early representations will be analysed. The first study on the flexible workspace will be focused on how differences in early representations influence the information seeking behaviour, the quality of the results and the generation of design requirements. The second study on the luggage carrier for bicycles shows the relation between information seeking behaviour and the generation of design requirements. In both studies participants were senior design students from the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) at Delft University of Technology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch for practice: innovation in products, processes and organisations
EditorsA Folkeson, K Gralem, M Norrell, U Sellgren
Place of PublicationStockolm
PublisherKTH and the Design Society
Publication date2003
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event14th International Conference on Engineering Design - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 19 Aug 200321 Aug 2003


Conference14th International Conference on Engineering Design
Internet address


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