Exploring richness in design spaces as a multi-level defined construct

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It seems relevant for designers who are dealing with complex societal issues to be able to assess whether they appreciate the complexity of the design task sufficiently before the stages of the design and production process are reached, as these require informed decisions before committing substantial resources. We put forward that the ‘richness’ of intermediate results in a design process can be used as at least part of this assessment. The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of richness as a multi-level defined construct, to create a shared language for such an assessment. We created a three-part definition and tested its workability and value for designers. The results demonstrate the workability of considering richness as a multi-level defined construct. Its value for designers, then, is that assessing the richness of intermediate results can help to get a sense whether they are capturing the complexity of the design task. If not, this could be an explicit sign that more work is needed before moving towards the more resource-intensive stages. This first exploration can be built upon in various ways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • richness
  • assessment
  • multi-level defined construc
  • complexity
  • shared language


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