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UAL Research Online

Talking About Team Framing: Using Argumentation to Analyse and Support Experiential Learning in Early Design Episodes

Stumpf, Simone and McDonnell, Janet (2002) Talking About Team Framing: Using Argumentation to Analyse and Support Experiential Learning in Early Design Episodes. Design Studies, 23 (1). pp. 3-23. ISSN 0142694X

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Stumpf, Simone and McDonnell, Janet

In the context of research aspiring to better understanding of the design process, the activity of imposing order on the design situation, termed problem framing, has been studied extensively since it was eloquently, but informally, characterised as a phenomenon by Schön in writings starting in the 1980s. Much work investigating problem framing takes a cognitive approach, focusing on it as a critical component of an individual designer’s approach to a design task.

This publication first extends notions about 'individual' reflective practice to account for problem framing among design 'teams' working on the conceptual stages of design projects. It presents an approach to identifying problem frames characterised as being negotiated conversationally among design team members during collaboration on a design task. The paper argues that by viewing team design conversations as a process of 'argumentation', the negotiation of frames is brought into focus. Analysing designers’ interactions in this way allows us to see how frame shifts happen. This is an important step towards clarifying the phenomenon of problem framing and the way that frames become established (or not) in design teams, and it is a pre-requisite for investigating the consequential effects on both the design process and design outcomes.

The work explains how argumentation theory, applied within an experiential learning paradigm, can be applied to analysis of design team conversations. It uses examples from design meeting transcripts to show how frame shifts can be detected by focusing on rhetorical schemes as markers of reality construction. Transcripts can thereby be structured into episodes showing the negotiation of terms. One advantage of the approach described is the inter-coder reliability achievable in identifying frame shifts, thus it presents some novel advantages over other more informal work concerned with describing problem framing in design teams (e.g. the work of Dorst and Valkenburg).

Official Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0142-694X(01)00020-5
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Janet McDonnell's research centres on the study of design and other kinds of professional work as it takes place in natural settings where many competing practical pressures are at play. The focus of research is on different means of making practices 'visible' e.g. the methods in use, the decision-making behaviour, how ideas get introduced and established, the informational bases (sources, uses and quality) that individuals and groups rely on, and the influences of assumptions and norms. The overarching themes uniting different projects are an interest in supporting reflective practice, increasing the potential for individuals and groups to learn from experience, enabling user engagement in design, communication of expertise, and understanding the social interactional aspects of collaborative activity.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 1 January 2002
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1016/S0142-694X(01)00020-5
Related Websites: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/30409/description#description
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Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 14:11
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2014 09:19
Item ID: 1156
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1156

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