The impact of data on the role of designers and their process

Jiahao Lu*, Alejandra Gomez Ortega, Milene Gonçalves, Jacky Bourgeois

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

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With the advance of the Internet and the Internet of Things, an abundance of 'big' data becomes available. Data science can be incorporated in design, which brings forward various opportunities for designers to benefit from this new material. However, the designer's perspective and their role remains unclear. How do they think about and approach data? What do they want to achieve with this data? What do they need to take ownership of designing with data? In this paper we take a design perspective to map the opportunities and challenges of leveraging large data-sets as part of the design process. We rely on a survey with 75 participants across a Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering and in-depth reflective interviews with a subset of 9 participants. We discuss the impact of data on the roles designers can adopt as well as an approach to designing with data. This work aims to inform on educational support, data literacy and tools needed for designers to take advantage of this new era of design digitalisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3021-3030
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Design Society
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event23rd International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2021 - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 16 Aug 202120 Aug 2021


  • Big data
  • Data literacy
  • Design education
  • Design process
  • Designers' roles


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