Risk across design domains

Eckert, Claudia; Earl, Christopher; Stacey, Martin; Bucciarelli, Louis L. and Clarkson, P. John (2005). Risk across design domains. In: 15th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED05), 15-18 Aug 2005, Melbourne, Australia.


Design processes involve risk: to life and limb if the product is unsafe, to the financial health of the company if the product is late, unsuccessful or simply the wrong product, as well as to the emotions and careers of the designers. Many of the risks are shared universally by all designers, but each different industry and each different project faces its own spectrum of serious and minor risks. Different industries have put their methodological effort into finding ways to mitigate the risks they recognise as important. As part of the Across Design project exploring similarities and differences between design processes in different industries, this paper examines how risks are perceived and handled in different types of design process, and proposes that designers and managers can usefully look to other industries for ways to handle risks that are more central for those other industries.

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