Interdisciplinary workgroup methodology based on Intuition, Application to a communication tool design based on Kansei information approach

Levy, P. & Yamanaka, T. (2006). Interdisciplinary workgroup methodology based on Intuition – Application to a communication tool design based on Kansei information approach. Kansei Engineering International. 5(4).

⌈Abstract⌋ The artifact is a complex element. Besides its elementary dimensions (material, functional and formal), the artifact is composed of much more dimensions: ergonomic, emotional, cultural, and even ethologic or theological. To take into account this great quantity and diversity of dimensions, the designer’s work has to be widened out. Necessarily, this goes through an interdisciplinary approach, i.e. through an interdisciplinary workgroup activity. Nevertheless, this brings issues, notably concerning knowledge communication and sharing. For each variety of knowledge (tacit, prescriptive and descriptive), interdisciplinary activity provokes issues either because of disciplinary ontology differences, or because of human subjective understanding differences. Intuition is a mental process which is able to minimize these issue effects. We then propose a methodology based on intuition, structured on the theory of Ba, on the SECI Model, which an evoked metaphor (EM) is added to. Through the EM, each member of the workgroup is able to participate to every steps of the design process and to communicate with other members, thanks to an intuitive understanding permanently validated by involved disciplines. This creates an efficient interdisciplinary dynamics and the realization of fully interdisciplinary projects. To illustrate this methodology, the design of MATiK is introduced as an example. MATiK is an original workgroup communication system based on a Kansei information approach. In order to understand the expected functionalities of MATiK and to design it, the EM is set up. Considering basic aspects of an extensive workgroup operative process, the Loft is defined as an EM. The Loft offers an opportunity to understand MATiK’s original functionalities, MATiK’s design, and MATiK’s functional and technical requirements intuitively. This methodology, based on the EM, asserts its relevancy for interdisciplinary design. Its strength comes from the fact that the EM links all the levels of the design process (the idea/concept level, the reality level, and the technical level) and makes their understanding accessible to all members thanks to intuition.