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Distributed Experiments in Design Sciences, a Next Step in Design Observation Studies?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDS 80-2 Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 15) Vol 2: Design Theory and Research Methodology Design Processes
EditorsC Weber, S Husung, M Cantamessa, G Cascini, D Marjanovic, S Venkataraman
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Engineering Design -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Engineering Design
ISSN (Print)2220-4334


ConferenceInternational Conference on Engineering Design
Period1/01/00 → …


This paper describes and proposes a new method for conducting globally distributed design research. Instead of using e.g. a software we tried out a completely analogue approach: Five carefully prepared packages, containing all the necessary materials and instructions for a design challenge, were sent out to supervisors in Norway, Finland, Italy, and Australia. These local supervisors then conducted the egg-drop exercise with students that are part of an international course held at CERN. As the task is conducted according to a previously tested protocol, the results gathered with this new method can then be benchmarked with this available data. This new approach to globally conducted engineering design activities avoids local bias and enables for gathering large amounts of diverse data points. One can also think of a research community where every member can send out one experiment per year and, in return, receives data points from across the world.

Based on the feedback from the supervisors we can say that from an organisational standpoint of view, this method works well. The comparison to the existing data has yet to be done.


  • Research methodologies and methods, Crowdsourcing, Collaborative design, Prototyping, Globally distributed experiment, COLLABORATION, STRESS

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland