Hasso-Plattner-Institut
 
    • de
Hasso-Plattner-Institut
  
 

D-Tools 2.0

Supporting Distributed Design Thinking

At the Design Thinking method is becoming increasingly popular and widespread worldwide, design thinkers expand their collaborations across regions and continents and are thus geographically dispersed, even across time zones. The visual and haptic components of the work space are so far hard to share over distance and time. Written documentation and communication work tend to suppress creativity, curiosity, spontaneity and team experience. This project proposal on design research aims at designing and implementing new IT-supported tools, which truly support and optimize collaborative Design Thinking without getting in the way of the teams involved in the process. We will do so by testing the following two hypotheses:

First, distributed Design Thinking can be enabled by suitable IT-supported tools, hereafter referred to as “D-Tools 2.0”. It requires tools to collect, annotate, and visualize multimedia data in a seamless manner, best automatically.

Second, tools and solutions found to support and improve the distributed Design Thinking process by (semi-)automated documentation, annotation, and visualization can in turn improve the original Design Thinking process itself. The impact of these tools - intended or not- will be measured in both local and distributed settings. The project’s analysis is based upon former and present research about “distance collaboration work” and on coherent investigation about the processes, tools, information and communication flows, as currently employed in the Design Thinking process. Our vision is to design and to implement our D-Tools 2.0 in a way that they are able to collect, annotate, and visualize multimedia data (semi-)automatically and to truly support and improve the distributed design process without getting stuck with technicalities.

By digitizing the content developed during design, and by being able to share it over space and time, Design Thinking is furthermore made available for all interested people that were so far not associated or integrated with this process. Our D-tools 2.0 are therefore making the Design Thinking process even more collaborative.

Project Team:
Christoph Meinel, Oliver Böckmann, Justus Broß,Matthias Quasthoff, Harald Sack
 
Watch the video on Tele-Task

D-Tools 2.0

Supporting Distributed Design Thinking

At the Design Thinking method is becoming increasingly popular and widespread worldwide, design thinkers expand their collaborations across regions and continents and are thus geographically dispersed, even across time zones. The visual and haptic components of the work space are so far hard to share over distance and time. Written documentation and communication work tend to suppress creativity, curiosity, spontaneity and team experience. This project proposal on design research aims at designing and implementing new IT-supported tools, which truly support and optimize collaborative Design Thinking without getting in the way of the teams involved in the process. We will do so by testing the following two hypotheses:

First, distributed Design Thinking can be enabled by suitable IT-supported tools, hereafter referred to as “D-Tools 2.0”. It requires tools to collect, annotate, and visualize multimedia data in a seamless manner, best automatically.

Second, tools and solutions found to support and improve the distributed Design Thinking process by (semi-)automated documentation, annotation, and visualization can in turn improve the original Design Thinking process itself. The impact of these tools - intended or not- will be measured in both local and distributed settings. The project’s analysis is based upon former and present research about “distance collaboration work” and on coherent investigation about the processes, tools, information and communication flows, as currently employed in the Design Thinking process. Our vision is to design and to implement our D-Tools 2.0 in a way that they are able to collect, annotate, and visualize multimedia data (semi-)automatically and to truly support and improve the distributed design process without getting stuck with technicalities.

By digitizing the content developed during design, and by being able to share it over space and time, Design Thinking is furthermore made available for all interested people that were so far not associated or integrated with this process. Our D-tools 2.0 are therefore making the Design Thinking process even more collaborative.

Project Team:
Christoph Meinel, Oliver Böckmann, Justus Broß,Matthias Quasthoff, Harald Sack
 
Watch the video on Tele-Task

Rosie

A Communication Robot for Design Thinking

Expressive “communication robots” can create more direct, engaging and productive exchanges for spatially distributed teams. We have been developing mobile, humanscale communications platforms to provide a tangible sense of presence for globallyconnected team members in the local workspace. We now seek to understand: [1] what are the implications of an “always there” presence on design team activities and mutual awareness; [2] how does embodied motion and action affect both explicit and implicit interactions between design participants; and [3] what representations and controls may best be used to indicate the remote user’s communicative intentions?

For these investigations, we will deploy robot prototypes for field studies in both research group and project-based contexts. Passive communication data capture, observation of design team interactions and direct user testing of features will be used to inform ongoing, iterative development. We plan to collaborate with groups at HPI Potsdam by sharing research and knowledge gained, and participating in the development and testing of each other’s technologies.

Our system will serve both as a probe to better understand the factors that facilitate design thinking, and as a prototype platform to enable better communication between separated coaches and teams, students and educators, and working design professionals.

Project Team:
Mark Cutkosky, David Sirkin, Wendy Ju
 
Watch the video on Tele-Task

Rosie

A Communication Robot for Design Thinking

Expressive “communication robots” can create more direct, engaging and productive exchanges for spatially distributed teams. We have been developing mobile, humanscale communications platforms to provide a tangible sense of presence for globallyconnected team members in the local workspace. We now seek to understand: [1] what are the implications of an “always there” presence on design team activities and mutual awareness; [2] how does embodied motion and action affect both explicit and implicit interactions between design participants; and [3] what representations and controls may best be used to indicate the remote user’s communicative intentions?

For these investigations, we will deploy robot prototypes for field studies in both research group and project-based contexts. Passive communication data capture, observation of design team interactions and direct user testing of features will be used to inform ongoing, iterative development. We plan to collaborate with groups at HPI Potsdam by sharing research and knowledge gained, and participating in the development and testing of each other’s technologies.

Our system will serve both as a probe to better understand the factors that facilitate design thinking, and as a prototype platform to enable better communication between separated coaches and teams, students and educators, and working design professionals.

Project Team:
Mark Cutkosky, David Sirkin, Wendy Ju
 
Watch the video on Tele-Task

e.valuate

Evaluation of supportive instrument usage for interdisciplinary team processes 

Design thinking as an innovative process uses a broad variety of instruments. In addition to the predominant use of whiteboards, post-its and simple pens, digital documentation and communication applications are employed as well.

The degrees of efficiency of the instruments used in the process so far, differs not only in terms of the characteristics of the instruments themselves. In interdisciplinary team environments – which are essential to the design thinking approach – the way and efficiency of tool usage depends on the personal and professional background of the team members. Furthermore, instruments suit the specific phases of the process with varying degrees of success. Most of the time, a combination of instruments will be a reality. In addition to a profound research in this field, we plan to look at individual and unintended tool usages, which could serve as best practices for entire teams.

First Hypothesis: Process support of existing instruments can be optimized through orchestration according to teams and projects.

Additionally, it is our intent to investigate the potential of the different instruments for supporting extensive and substantial documentation. This is strongly desired by individuals, teams, project partners, other stakeholders and succeeding project teams. Nonetheless, this far it has been inadequately implemented. The goal is to understand why and how a suitable instrument setting can support better results.

Second Hypothesis: Documentation needs of all stakeholders can be satisfied without additional time-effort by optimizing documentation instruments.

Based on the results of the initial research and observations, the project will undertake an analysis of instrument-usage efficiency. Therefore we propose a measurement framework.

The research shall result in a deep understanding of the needs and practices of supportive instrument usage for interdisciplinary team processes. Our aim is to give recommendations regarding future instrument-usage settings and development for design thinking projects and for preliminary skill acquisitions.

Project Team:
Christoph Meinel, Bert Baumann, Andreas Groß, Christine Noweski, Christian Willems
 
Watch the video on Tele-Task

e.valuate

Evaluation of supportive instrument usage for interdisciplinary team processes 

Design thinking as an innovative process uses a broad variety of instruments. In addition to the predominant use of whiteboards, post-its and simple pens, digital documentation and communication applications are employed as well.

The degrees of efficiency of the instruments used in the process so far, differs not only in terms of the characteristics of the instruments themselves. In interdisciplinary team environments – which are essential to the design thinking approach – the way and efficiency of tool usage depends on the personal and professional background of the team members. Furthermore, instruments suit the specific phases of the process with varying degrees of success. Most of the time, a combination of instruments will be a reality. In addition to a profound research in this field, we plan to look at individual and unintended tool usages, which could serve as best practices for entire teams.

First Hypothesis: Process support of existing instruments can be optimized through orchestration according to teams and projects.

Additionally, it is our intent to investigate the potential of the different instruments for supporting extensive and substantial documentation. This is strongly desired by individuals, teams, project partners, other stakeholders and succeeding project teams. Nonetheless, this far it has been inadequately implemented. The goal is to understand why and how a suitable instrument setting can support better results.

Second Hypothesis: Documentation needs of all stakeholders can be satisfied without additional time-effort by optimizing documentation instruments.

Based on the results of the initial research and observations, the project will undertake an analysis of instrument-usage efficiency. Therefore we propose a measurement framework.

The research shall result in a deep understanding of the needs and practices of supportive instrument usage for interdisciplinary team processes. Our aim is to give recommendations regarding future instrument-usage settings and development for design thinking projects and for preliminary skill acquisitions.

Project Team:
Christoph Meinel, Bert Baumann, Andreas Groß, Christine Noweski, Christian Willems
 
Watch the video on Tele-Task

Re-Representation

An Active Agent and Mediator in Team-Based Design Thinking 

Between an idea and an optimized product, service, or software, the sole means of conveyance is re-representation (Latour 1987:246). The choice of media and the resolution of a model have enormous impact on group interaction. Low resolution models incite generative, divergent conversations while high resolution models incite convergent conversations (Tversky 2006 and Edelman 2008). To move Marshal McCluhan’s famous dictum, “the medium is the message,” (McCluhan 1964) to the next step, we propose that the medium is a cognitive tool which extends and modifies our ability to perceive, think and communicate.1 Simply stated the type of model and its resolution conditions both the conversations and characterizes the thinking in which team members engage. This assertion is in keeping with contemporary work in cognitive science regarding representation, tool use and cognition. Previous work at Stanford’s Center for Design Research correlated conversational parameters with performance in team based design. We propose that media can be used to control conversational parameters in order to improve design performance. To facilitate this work, we introduce the concepts of media models and media cascades. Here and elsewhere, I am indebted to Barbara Tversky for many of her insights about design, thinking and drawing upon which my research is based.

Project Team:
Larry Leifer, Jonathan Edelman, Micah Lande, supported by Banny Banerjee, Neeraj Sonalkar, Malte Jung 
 
Watch the video on Tele-Task

Re-Representation

An Active Agent and Mediator in Team-Based Design Thinking 

Between an idea and an optimized product, service, or software, the sole means of conveyance is re-representation (Latour 1987:246). The choice of media and the resolution of a model have enormous impact on group interaction. Low resolution models incite generative, divergent conversations while high resolution models incite convergent conversations (Tversky 2006 and Edelman 2008). To move Marshal McCluhan’s famous dictum, “the medium is the message,” (McCluhan 1964) to the next step, we propose that the medium is a cognitive tool which extends and modifies our ability to perceive, think and communicate.1 Simply stated the type of model and its resolution conditions both the conversations and characterizes the thinking in which team members engage. This assertion is in keeping with contemporary work in cognitive science regarding representation, tool use and cognition. Previous work at Stanford’s Center for Design Research correlated conversational parameters with performance in team based design. We propose that media can be used to control conversational parameters in order to improve design performance. To facilitate this work, we introduce the concepts of media models and media cascades. Here and elsewhere, I am indebted to Barbara Tversky for many of her insights about design, thinking and drawing upon which my research is based.

Project Team:
Larry Leifer, Jonathan Edelman, Micah Lande, supported by Banny Banerjee, Neeraj Sonalkar, Malte Jung 
 
Watch the video on Tele-Task

Cultural Influences

on Design Thinking Processes and Outcomes 

We propose to investigate the relationship between culture and design thinking. We broadly conceptualize culture as attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors shared by a group of people and propose to explore the relationship between national, disciplinary, and corporate culture and creative design innovation. We plan a detailed ethnographic study of designers in diverse countries and companies that would leverage a tight collaboration within a crossnational team of researchers from Stanford and Potsdam as well as consulting researchers from China. Our results promise to characterize the practice associated with design thinking in multiple settings and stretch the current view of design thinking by incorporating a multicultural perspective. In an effort to influence design practice, scholarly research, and education, our deliverables range from scholarly papers, to workshops, to integration of our findings into design education.

Project Team: 
Pamela Hinds, Joachim Lyon
 
Watch the video on Tele-Task

Cultural Influences

on Design Thinking Processes and Outcomes 

We propose to investigate the relationship between culture and design thinking. We broadly conceptualize culture as attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors shared by a group of people and propose to explore the relationship between national, disciplinary, and corporate culture and creative design innovation. We plan a detailed ethnographic study of designers in diverse countries and companies that would leverage a tight collaboration within a crossnational team of researchers from Stanford and Potsdam as well as consulting researchers from China. Our results promise to characterize the practice associated with design thinking in multiple settings and stretch the current view of design thinking by incorporating a multicultural perspective. In an effort to influence design practice, scholarly research, and education, our deliverables range from scholarly papers, to workshops, to integration of our findings into design education.

Project Team: 
Pamela Hinds, Joachim Lyon
 
Watch the video on Tele-Task