The various modes in which individuals relate to the collectivity of a group have been fruitfully explored in research on group dynamics. The present paper applies a phenomenological interview approach to understand how this dynamic relationship plays out among design students in a collaborative design situation. Through deep-interviews with the members of a temporary design group, a number of dimensions for this relationship were uncovered. These individual-group characteristics related to "instrumentality" of engagement, experience of "ambivalence" and "threat" and finally to the process of "individualization" in which the group enabled an individual "design self". After having presented the theoretical underpinnings and the empirical results of this study, the paper ends with suggesting a synthesis perspective of the individual-group relation in collaborative design.
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