Mehdi Mozuni, Maren Ohlhoff, and Gerhard Glatzel
Evaluating and deciding on technical options is an increasingly complex challenge in disruptive product development and transformative system engineering. The practice requires thinking ahead a path through a regulatory, economic, social and technological unstable environment. Yet, such strategic decisions are often interconnected, dependent on further internal and external variables and need to be communicated and met simultaneously by several disciplines. This holds especially true when teams from heterogeneous disciplines have to come to a consensus on several future events that contain a high level of contingencies. In the foresight research, scenarios are used as alternative prototypes of the future(s) and are the subject of cross-disciplinary discourses and decisions. Based on the analogy between scenarios and prototypes as artefacts of iterative design practice, we suggest that scenarios can be well applied by designers for knowledge-communication and technical option evaluation among heterogeneous disciplines and stakeholders. With the example of two ongoing transdisciplinary projects (E4A, SE2A 2) a generic 10-step procedure is proposed which can be adapted to similar strategic design inquires.
Keywords: strategic design, decision making, option evaluation, prototyping, scenario technique, transdisciplinarity
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