MYBIAS: A WEB-BASED TOOL TO OVERCOME COMMUNICATION ISSUES AND FOSTER CREATIVITY IN HETEROGENEOUS DESIGN TEAMS
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: Mattioli, Francesca; Ferraris, Silvia Deborah; Ferraro, Venere
Institution: Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Section: Creativity and Innovation in Design and Engineering Education
The authors, who are researchers and teachers in the field of Design and Engineering, have developed an area of study that deals with the role of biases in heterogeneous teams’ dynamics. In particular they designed, prototyped and tested a web-based exploratory tool called Mybias, aimed at building mutual understanding in heterogeneous teams by making designers more aware of their personal biases when facing a new design issue. Mybias is designed to be used at the very beginning of the design process, the exploratory research. Yet during the first year of development the authors realised that it is worth investigating the effect of the tool on the whole design process. Thus, we decided to experiment with the tool in a real design process by letting 79 students use it during their design studio course, in the context of a Design and Engineering Master Course. The students received the design brief from the teachers and the partner company, later they used the tool to explore the brief and finally they freely used the tool’s output (a set of cards) during the creative phase that was supported by the teachers through a brainstorming session. Feedback on the use of the tools was gathered by a questionnaire. Authors did direct observation during the brainstorming session and qualitative unstructured interviews to a few students at the end of the studio. In the paper the authors discuss the output of this experimentation. It seems that Mybias, a tool designed to support mutual understating among heterogeneous team members, might also support and improve the idea generation and foster creativity by consequently being useful for innovation purposes.