DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Branda, Nicele (1); Silveira, Leandro (1); van der Linden, Julio (1); Bohemia, Erik (2); Kaygan, Pinar (3)
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; 2: Academy for Design Innovation Management, United Kingdom; 3: Middle East Technical University, Turkey
Section: Cultural 3
DOI number:
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


This study addresses the strategies used by students participants of the 2018 edition of the Global Studio, a cross-institutional project, to develop a design brief. In the Global Studio students from different universities around the world work in paired teams simultaneously as clients and designers. The project is conducted by means of blogs assigned to each team, and teams can use resources such as apps and platforms to improve their information and ideas exchanges. For each edition is proposed a theme that has to be addressed under a cross-cultural perspective. In 2018 the theme was “local mobilities”, challenging design students to propose a solution for a local problem presented by their counterparts. This edition involved design students of five universities from Turkey, Italy, Brazil and Japan. At each university, the project began with lectures presenting the concept of the Global Studio (objectives, activities and schedule). Then teams were asked to define an initial problem and prepare their design brief. This process involved common design activities and techniques as contextual research, desktop research, and problem definition. Design briefs were published at counterpart’s blogs and were analysed before the teams started their work as designers. The analysis of how these students designed their design brief was the main objective of this study. The study adopted two qualitative methods: analysis of documents and survey. Design brief presentations and the comments available in the blogs were collected and images and texts were analysed. A survey was used to assess students’ descriptions of their processes: i. they were asked about how they started the design briefing and what activities they performed during the process; and ii. they were required to represent their processes by images. Results demonstrated different levels of expertise and experience among teams. Differences in quality of the contents also are noticeable: some teams offered detailed information about the context and the identified problem; others presented only a vague description of the problem. Each team adopted at least a bit different strategy to reach the objective of presenting its design brief to its counterpart. Results suggest that strategies are associated both to individual background and to institutional effect.

Keywords: Design Brief, Cross-cultural project, Global Studio


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