CHARACTERISING THE INFORMATION REQUESTS OF ENGINEERING DESIGNERS
Information acquisition is an essential part of engineering design processes. However, the nature of information requests is still not well understood. Hence, a research project was carried out in collaboration with the aerospace group of a major power systems company, with the aim of characterising the requests formed when designing that make engineering designers search through external sources. In this project, information requests were studied using an ethnographic participation, a diary study and observations with shadowing. This paper presents the research undertaken to characterise information requests based on their objective, subject and response process. An information request can be considered as a speech act or conscious thought expressing a need related to the design task in hand.