An Anthropo-Based Standpoint on Mediating Objects: Evolution and Extension of Industrial Design Practices

  • Catherine Elsen
  • Françoise Darses
  • Pierre Leclercq


This paper questions the new uses of design tools and representations in the industrial field. A two months in situ observation of real industrial practices shows (i) how strongly CAD (Computer-Aided Design) tools are integrated in work practices, in preliminary design phases as well, and (ii) how design actors sometimes deviate this tool from its initial objectives to use it in complement of sketches’ contributions. A multi-layered study built on an anthropo-based approach helps us to deepen the “mediating objects” analysis. It also suggests considering the complementarities of design tools instead of their differences in order to propose another kind of design support tool.


Design Tool Work Practice Preliminary Design Design Team Design Field 
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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Elsen
    • 1
  • Françoise Darses
    • 2
  • Pierre Leclercq
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiègeBelgium
  2. 2.University of Paris SudFrance

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