Visual Diagnostics for Design Thinking Teams Using Virtual Reality

PI: Prof. Dr. Jeremy Bailenson


Virtual Reality technology holds the promise to become an arena for design teamwork practice. Designers can put on VR headsets and experience curated design situations in VR with their team members. In order to realize this promise, we propose developing a training platform for design thinking teams in Virtual Reality. Last year we took the first step to creating such a platform by connecting three VR stations on a social VR platform and enabling 17 triads to experience divergent and convergent design team tasks in VR in two different environments. In this proposal, we aim to use this social VR setup we built last year at the Center for Design Research to investigate the following questions that emerged from our experiment.

1. How do individual differences influence the effectiveness of VR as a design team training platform in terms of team performance and participants’design teamwork self-efficacy?

2. How might we build a design thinking studio in VR for enabling design teams to participate in a complete design thinking activity?

The project will study the influence of individual characteristics on design team performance in VR, how that performance varies with context, particularly new and imaginative contexts which the technology now permits us to create, and finally the participants design team self-efficacy when confronted with novel, ambiguous, and uncertain contexts.