Current Research projects
Perceptual gaps - This project focuses on understanding the differences
different disciplines view products, users and the product development
process. The goal is to more completely understand the way different players
in the design process think about their project and their team members,
identify tools to improve interdisciplinary team performance.
User models - The goal of this project is to create
a model of how the user
is represented within the project development process. The general model
made specific to any company or project, and serves as a formal means
understand how the user impacts, or should impact, the process.
Team negotiation - This project explores the development
and application of
methods from organizational behavior to communication in interdisciplinary
teams. The goal is to analyze the use of interests, rights, and power
in a team interaction, and identify ways to increase the use of interests,
and decrease the use of top-down power in a product development team.
Shape grammars - This project explores the application
of shape grammars,
originally developed in the field of Architecture, to product development.
Shape grammars are a form of production system where parametric rules
transform shapes into different shapes. Their power stems from a concise
language that represents a class of products, and their property of emergence
where new forms not directly put into the computer can materialize - so
what you put in is not what you get out. We have created shape grammars
to generate coffeemakers, inner hood panels of vehicles, motorcycles,
and more. We have used shape grammars to capture the essence of product
brand, for example generating Harley-Davidson motorcycles from the motorcycle
grammar. We also have developed core, patent pending technology to enable
the rapid computer implementation of shape grammars.
Brand - This project explores the representation
of product and company brand through the product itself, versus the advertising
campaign. The goal is to understand the relationship between product,
customer and brand, and position brand relative to customer and company
Global design - The emergence of the global market
and corporate partnerships and acquisitions brings new challenges in product
design, distribution and strategy. This project explores how local cultural
and lifestyle influences can be incorporated into business strategies
for global product development.