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User-inspired design methodology using Affordance Structure Matrix (ASM) for construction projects

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Traditionally, design phase of construction projects is often performed with incomplete and inaccurate user preferences. This is due to inefficiencies in the methodologies used for capturing the user requirements that can subsequently lead to inconsistencies and result in non-optimised end-result. Iterations and subsequent reworks due to such design inefficiencies is one of the major reasons for unsuccessful project delivery as they impact project performance measures such as time and cost among others. The existing design theories and practice are primarily based on functional requirements. Function-based design deals with design of artifact alone, which may yield favourable or unfavourable consequences with the design artifact. However, incorporating other interactions such as interactions between user & designer is necessary for optimised end-result. Hence, the objective of this research work is to devise a systematic design methodology considering all the three interactions among users, designers and artefacts for improved design efficiency. In this study, it has been attempted to apply the theory of affordances in a case project that involves the design of an offshore facility. A step-by-step methodology for developing Affordance Structure Matrix (ASM), which integrates House of Quality (HOQ) and Design Structure Matrix (DSM), is proposed that can effectively capture the user requirements. HOQ is a popular quality management tool for capturing client requirements and DSM is a matrix-based tool that can capture the interdependency among the design entities. The proposed methodology utilises the strengths of both the tools, as DSM compliments HOQ in the process. In this methodology, different affordances such as AUA (Artifact-User-Affordance), AAA (Artifact-Artifact-Affordance) and DDA (Designer-Designer-Affordance) are captured systematically. Affordance is considered to be user-driven in this context that is in contrast to prevailing design methodologies. The initial feedback from industry on the proposed ASM-based design methodology is encouraging.




Maheswari, J. U., Charlesraj, V. P. C., & Battacharya, S. (2017). User-inspired design methodology using Affordance Structure Matrix (ASM) for construction projects. In MATEC Web of Conferences (Vol. 120). EDP Sciences.

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