Industrial Designers and Engineering Designers: Causes of Conflicts, Resolving Strategies, and Perceived Image of Each Other

Kwan Myung Kim, Kun Pyo Lee

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


What causes the conflicts between industrial designers and engineering designers? Howare these conflicts resolved? Furthermore, what view point does each group form towardthe other from their dynamic interaction? This study explores a consumer productcompany to answer these questions. Three industrial designers and three engineeringdesigners working on the same product development were interviewed. As a result, thispaper presents the causes of conflicts, conflict resolution strategies, and perceived imageof each group. Two types of conflict causes, direct causes and basic causes, are reported.The direct causes are related to tasks in the design process, and the basic causes are structural, underlying the direct causes. The strategies to resolve the causes are also identified. Engineering designers appear to use ‘persuading’ strategy more. It seems that engineering designers prefer to ‘yield’ strategy in most cases and industrial designers use‘insisting’ strategy more. Each group’s perceived image to the other group has also been investigated. Industrial designers view engineering designers as uncreative, conservative and unadventurous. Engineering designers say industrial designers are inflexible,acquisitive, bossy, and dismissive. Finally, a better way of collaborating between the two groups is discussed, and future research directions are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Design Research Society (DRS) 2014
Publisherthe Design Research Society
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Industrial design
  • Engineering Design
  • Conflict
  • Resolution strategy
  • Perceived image

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