Information and the Design Process
Information has, of course, always been the lifeblood of the design process, but the first specific study reported seems to have been in 1979.1A panel of information experts was formed by the Council of Industrial Design (CD.J.D.) to evaluate submissions from industry, industrial research bodies and the technical press. Selected submissions formed part of the 'More Value by Design' exhibition at the Design Centre, London, in early 1971and were reported in one of the papers at the First Symposium on Information Systems for Designers held at the University of Southampton later that year. Two further symposia followed in 1974 and 1977. Amongst the many interesting papers presented at the Second Symposium were those by Nordstrom on 'Designers information problems,2 and Wall on 'The Education of Design Engineers in Information Retrieval,.3 The Third Symposium also covered a very broad range of issues, but most significantly the first impacts of the Information Technology revolution were reported. A new sytem, DIALTECH, was described which had been made possible by the installation of a minicomputer and communications equipment at the Technology Reports Centre of the Department of Industry. This system allowed designers to carry out literature searches by using ordinary telephone lines at their own computer terminals.