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Conference Proceeding

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Publication Details

This conference proceeding was originally published as:

Williams, A., & Rickett, C. (2014). Analogy as a means of communicating. Paper presented at the DesignEd Asia Conference, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Retrieved from 6_ANALOGY%20AS%20A%20MEANS%20OF%20COMMUNICATING.pdf


120399 Design Practice and Management not elsewhere classified| 139999 Education not elsewhere classified| 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication

Reportable Items



The issue which impacts most significantly on the process of reaching shared understanding, through the design discussion in the team, is the ability of team members to communicate their design ideas and technical concepts with other members of the team. The ability to effectively participate in the forum of a design team unquestionably requires an ability to communicate design ideas and discipline specific information. The study, reported in this paper, considers one of the communication strategies available to the designer, which contributes to effective communication within the design team context, the paper will focus on analogy or the metaphor. In research,to date, on problem solving in scientific research teams [Dunbar,1995] two levels of analogy have been identified. In this study of Multi-disciplinary Design Teams it was established that the team members used a third level of analogy, this relating to the use of “metaphors” drawn from outside the specific design domain the team is working within. The industry based research identified both the importance and complexity of the role of analogy has as a communication practice, but what do our students know about its use and do they know how to use it effectively? This paper looks at the use of analogy and considers ways of introducing our graduates to an understanding of analogy as an effective part of their range of communication strategies.

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