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Application of a conceptual stages design protocol for early collaborative design through computer based mediation.

Leon, Marianthi; Laing, Richard


Marianthi Leon

Richard Laing



Effective conceptual and collaborative design process in architecture is a prerequisite for efficient overall project development. This can be facilitated by computer mediation methods, including emerging augmented reality technologies and tactile and tangible interfaces. With the current paradigm of conceptual design process being disorganised and quite often overpowered by communication gaps between the different design professionals, collaborative conceptual design is essential to be understood and most importantly effectively managed. Bridging the conceptual design stage with the later detailed design ones by using digital technologies can effectively assist transferring the information and initial ideas between the different design stages and bridge the communication gap between the different stakeholders, like the design professionals i.e. architects, engineers, design managers, etc., as early as possible. This paper is focused on reviewing different design processes and on presenting a predefined Conceptual Design Protocol (CDP) as a descriptive model that illustrates the steps of the design process as sequences of actions that occur during design and eventually manages the conceptual design process. Two studies illustrate the evolution from the current paradigm to the proposed design process and are both briefly presented in the paper. The preliminary study showcases a multidisciplinary conceptual design approach. During the second study, the design process is managed to follow the CPD and the participants utilise a design application developed specifically for the particular study and installed on a tangible user interface (TUI). The nature of design progression and collaboration is recorded and analysed, allowing for a number of conclusions to be drawn regarding the conceptual design process, the role of digital technologies and the application of the CPD.


LEON, M. and LAING, R. 2014. Application of a conceptual stages design protocol for early collaborative design through computer based mediation. In Kouider, T. (ed.) Proceedings of the 5th International congress on architectural technology (ICAT 2014): architectural technology, towards innovative professional practice, 7 November 2014, Aberdeen, UK. Aberdeen: Robert Gordon University [online], pages 192-205. Available from:

Conference Name 5th International congress on architectural technology (ICAT 2014)
Conference Location Aberdeen, UK
Start Date Nov 7, 2014
Acceptance Date Jan 8, 2014
Online Publication Date Nov 7, 2014
Publication Date Dec 31, 2014
Deposit Date Mar 5, 2015
Publicly Available Date Mar 5, 2015
Publisher Robert Gordon University
Pages 192-205
ISBN 9781907349096
Keywords Conceptual Design Protocol (CDP); Design processes; Reflective practice
Public URL
Publisher URL


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