Supporting design communities: designers' perspectives

S. Joel, Michael Smyth, P. Rodgers, B. Rothbucher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


Localised un-structured design communities can benefit the designer and the design process [1]. To explore the concept of community and its impact on design, a series of semi-structured interviews were conducted. The interview responses were given by designers from a range of design disciplines and were aimed at understanding generic significance and implications of design communities. The interviews were carried out within informal settings with the intention of building up conservation through a flexible question format. The answers given addressed the issue of designer interaction with regard to past experiences and education, current processes, resources and influences used, and the industry as a whole. The un-prescriptive nature of the interviews was sought to facilitate more realistic, un-biased opinions from design professionals. The aim of the paper is to reveal the opinions of designers and the examples they give to suggest that un-structured communities are beneficial to their career. Furthermore, examples are given of the impact educational, local and international communities can have. This paper describes the importance of creative centers, be it educational or local, in forming links with international centers in order to facilitate broader global communities and networks. By using local networks of creativity the student and professional designer has access to networks in an international context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDS 38: Proceedings of E and DPE 2006, the 8th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education 2006
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2006


  • design
  • community support
  • design community


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