Framing Innovation: Negotiating Shared Frames During Early Design Phases
Journal of Design Research, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 77-99, 2007
21 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2010
Date Written: 2007
Members of newly formed design teams have different frames – implicit values, goals and assumptions – each of them hold about what problems are important and how they are best addressed. In the early, informal phases of design projects, these frames, and the degree to which they are shared within the team, have substantial consequences. However, little is known about the interactions and activities that reveal frames and support frame sharing in teams. Our study follows 22 newly-formed multi-disciplinary teams through the early phases of the design process in a New Product Development course. We used a mixed method, interdisciplinary approach to understand the dynamic process through which design frames are socially negotiated and shared. We identified core framing activities of design teams and propose a framing cycle of pseudo-frame setting, making individuals’ frames explicit, making frame conflicts salient, and building a common frame.
Keywords: design team, early phases, framing, innovation, problem definition, assumptions, conflict, user-centered
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