Supporting the early stages of the product design process: Using an integrated collaborative environment

Julian Malins, Aggelos Liapis, Julia Kantorovitch, Panos Markopoulos, Richard Laing, Alexandros Didaskalou, Karen Coninx, Fiona Maciver

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Existing technologies designed to support professional product designers focus mainly on the modelling stages of the design process, while the early conceptual stages remain relatively unexplored. There is a need for seamlessly integrating product development tasks into a comprehensive collaborative computer supported design environment that can assist professional product designers. To address this need, a new research and development project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework programme has been launched, entitled Collaborative Creative Design Platform (COnCEPT). The research aims to address the technology gap by defining a flexible framework, which can serve as a blueprint for the development of efficient collaborative computer supported environments. The COnCEPT platform will use advanced data-mining algorithms to find appropriate text and visual information to support product designers at the early stages of the design process, making use of past solutions, market data and new emerging technologies. The software will convert the available and contributed information into a form making it accessible to the design team. The project will investigate which interaction techniques are most suited to specific situations and activities, and how they can be combined in one integrated environment. This paper identifies the key design challenges facing the project team, and describes the theoretical basis for the COnCEPT platform’s development. The paper also sets out the methodological approach that has been adopted by the researchers, which includes specialists from design, architecture, informatics, and interface design. The research will be evaluated with professional product designers and undergraduate design students. The potential use of a collaborative design platform and its implications for design pedagogy is also explored in the paper.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14)
    Subtitle of host publicationDesign Education and Human Technology Relations
    EditorsErik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
    PublisherInstitution of Engineering Designers
    ISBN (Print)978-1-904670-56-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    Event16th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education, E&PDE 2014 - Enschede, Netherlands
    Duration: 4 Sept 20145 Sept 2014
    Conference number: 15


    Conference16th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education, E&PDE 2014
    Abbreviated titleE&PDE 2014


    • conceptual product design
    • collaboration
    • education
    • collaborative platform


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