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Title: Analysis and representation of rhetorical construction of understanding in design teams' experiential learning
Author: Stumpf, Simone
ISNI:       0000 0001 3488 7146
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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Every analysis and representation is embedded in a particular paradigm that structures what is highlighted or neglected. One of the thesis contributions is to identify four main paradigms in design and compare these to designers' experience of designing in practice. Most closely aligned to the experience of designing is individual experiential learning. The thesis clarifies this paradigm in relation to team designing and contributes extensions that locate the team design process in the rhetorical construction of understanding. An analysis of design team discourse is derived through a method of discourse analysis. In the thesis, a coding scheme based on the New Rhetoric is developed to study the use of argumentation in designers' interaction. Understanding of the micro-level process of team experiential learning is furthered by a detailed analysis of design team discourse, illustrated by excerpts drawn from a design exercise transcript. Results show that designers increase the presence of statements to focus the team's attention, organise their understanding through associations based on the structure of reality, keep notions flexible through association establishing the structure of reality and attempt to reframe the team's understanding through dissociations. How these distinct rhetorical means are used in the unfolding of the design discourse is discussed, especially in attempts at establishing a team frame. Team frame in this sense means a shared perspective of what the design problem is and how it is to be solved. Results of submitting the coding scheme to a reliability test are presented. Akin to the influence that paradigms have for the analysis, so in turn they determine appropriate representations for describing and supporting design team activity. An examination of models of the designer, design task and design process leads to the proposal of characteristics and criteria for representations that capture team experiential learning. Comparisons between discourse analysis studies of how teams establish team frames and an examination of design discourse and design process representations motivate the capture of the micro-level and macro-level process in team experiential learning. The thesis sets out a new representation that emphasises the unfolding nature of design discourse as a 'frame rationale'. A variety of representations about learning experiences make aspects of design team's experiential learning more visible. These representations can be used to enhance reflection-in-action or reflection-on-action. The thesis shows how frame rationales can be used to identify and support instances of team reframing within design teams and provide another facet in the basis for learning situations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science