Coping with value conflicts as junior designers

Figuur collaborative practice

The overall aim of this research is to assist junior designers in using their values and those of others for creating meaningful innovations.

The central problem statement of the research is:

How can we have junior designers gain a better understanding of their personal values and provide them with a design approach to use these values effectively for creating meaningful innovations in collaboration with others?

An explorative study led to two research questions of the research project.  First an understanding is needed of what complications or conflicts junior designers face if they want to stay true to their own values while working in design teams. This leads to our first research question:

What conflict(s) of values do junior design professionals experience?

To support junior design professionals it is crucial to not only discover what conflicts are experienced, but also to identify how designers can cope with these conflicts. In combination with theoretical insights this can lead to an approach of coping with value conflicts in collaboration. This leads to our second research question:

How can junior design professionals cope with conflicts of values?

The study intends to deliver an overview of coping strategies and an approach to cope with friction caused by differing value perspectives. Two follow-up studies will be conducted to retrieve theoretical and empirical insights. I will interview expert and junior designers on their experiences to find the answers to the proposed research questions. The results of the interviews could be used to build narratives around conflicts of values situated in collaborative design.  Based on theoretical and empirical insights an approach will be developed to cope with value conflicts of junior design professionals in collaborative design. For this action research will be used to develop, co-create and validate the approach.

At this point I have finished my first year. My planning is to finish the whole project in 2019.

  • A key issue for me is how you can address difficult experiences in qualitative open interviewing?
  • Another issue is what effective coding strategies can help in mapping coping strategies of value conflicts?
  • Finally I want to continuously connect theoretical findings with empirical insights. I would like to know how that can be done in an efficient and effective way.