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The design explorer project: Using a cognitive framework to support knowledge exploration

  • Pejtersen, A. M.
  • Sonnenwald, D.H.
  • Buur, J.
  • Govindaraj, T.
  • Vicente, K.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1997
Online Research Database In Technology
External links


It is widely recognized that the increasingly dynamic and competitive business environment requires the exploration and integration of specialized knowledge from different domains in order to create innovative and competitive artefacts and reduce design and development costs. This paper presents the 'Design Explorer' research project whose goal is to specify requirements for an information system that will effectively help design team members from different domains and organizational cultures to locate and utilize diverse information sources and interact more effectively throughout the design process. The project introduces a new approach to support of design; instead of design guidelines, support is given by creating a transparent information environment in which designers can navigate freely according to their individual preferences. The project is based on a framework that structures the dimensions, or categories, of domain information which need to be available for a system or product designer/design team in order to determine the characteristics of the artefact, or object of design. These dimensions include information about the different work domains in which the product plays a role during its lifetime, and various related task spaces, domain activities, decisionmaking activities, division and coordination of work, and social organization. The framework is the result of a generalization of experiences from field studies in and design of support systems for a variety of modern work domains, such as process industries, manufacturing, hospitals and libraries.


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