Crucible Network Research Projects

Design intent

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This research area is led by Nathan Crilly

Alison McDougall-Weil is studying design intent and the subsequent user experience of architecture, specifically laboratories designed for experimental bioscience. The designs for such laboratories are frequently innovative, and often intended by the client and the architect to foster (or change) the culture of daily scientific practice. What the design intentions were, and how these buildings shape scientists' experiences and actions, is explored empirically through a multi-site ethnography of several US and UK bioscience research laboratories. The purpose of the study is to relate user experience to design expertise, offering insights to improve future designs.

Previous research on design intent has explored the different factors that shape the form of consumer products in industrial design practice. In particular, interviews with designers were conducted to investigate the intentions that they had for how their products should be interpreted and what the relationship was between those intentions and users' subsequent experiences. A new research project looks at this the other way around and examines how, when and to what effect users attribute intentions to designers. Publications include:

Crilly, N., Moultrie, J. and Clarkson, P.J. (2009) 'Shaping things: intended consumer response and the other determinants of product form' Design Studies, 30(3), 224-254.

Crilly, N., Maier, A. and Clarkson, P.J. (2008). 'Representing artefacts as media: Modelling the relationship between designer intent and consumer experience' International Journal of Design, 2(3), 15-27.

Crilly, N., Good, D., Matravers, D. and Clarkson, P.J. (2008) 'Design as communication: exploring the validity and utility of relating intention to interpretation' Design Studies, 29 (5), 425-457.

Crilly, N., Moultrie, J. and Clarkson, P.J. (2004) 'Seeing things: consumer response to the visual domain in product design' Design Studies, 25 (6), 547-577.

Crucible collaborators: