Emerging Roles in Design Expansion: 'The Third Group' Involved in Design

Chen Xiang, Wei Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Design, regarded as the key factor of innovation, has evidently developed diversified designeruser relationships in order to release productivity. However, to further leverage design capabilities, 'the third group' of people who are neither design experts nor users will collaborate with designers through their expertise and fill the skill gap between designers and users. This study therefore aims to explore how 'the third group' form integral roles in the design expansion terrain. To address the research question, this study adopts semi-structured interview as the research method, through which 17 informants experienced in design practices without design background are investigated. Subsequently, the results are classified into five roles 'the third group' can play in the design collaboration with detail clarifications, which include 'vision practitioner' 'business model designer', 'organization facilitator', 'language manipulator' and 'scenario composer'. Finally, the conclusion is set to contribute to identification of the design expansion terrain and the adaptive roles, which could be beneficial for non-design professionals to gain a position in design collaboration and also for designers to broaden abilities to collaborate across disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number02021
JournalMATEC Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018
Event6th International Forum on Industrial Design, IFID 2018 - Luoyang, China
Duration: 18 May 201820 May 2018

Bibliographical note

© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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