The effect of prototyping material on verbal and non-verbal behaviours in collaborative design tasks

Peter, Andreas; Lotz, Nicole; McDonnell, Janet and Lloyd, Peter (2013). The effect of prototyping material on verbal and non-verbal behaviours in collaborative design tasks. In: 5th International Congress of International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR), 26-30 Aug 2013, Tokyo, Japan, IASDR, pp. 2382–2393.

URL: http://design-cu.jp/iasdr2013/papers/1510-1b.pdf

Abstract

This paper reports a study of 23 controlled experiments, with a total of 99 individual tasks, between pairs of designers collaborating to solve a simple design task using four different types of prototyping media. The aim of the study was to correlate verbal and non-verbal behaviours across different types of media with a range of measurement indicators. Using innovative movement trail images we show how collaborative sketching activity results in attenuated use of interpersonal collaborative space when compared with cardboard, clay, and Lego, which provoked intensive collaboration. Furthermore, the sketching (control) condition resulted in pre-conceived ideas being executed when compared with the three-dimensional media, where ideas emerged through collaboration. This finding suggests that increased creativity in design can result through the careful choice of prototyping media at the beginning of the design process.

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