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Research Expo '08 Poster (Winner)

The text in poster reads:

Since coining of the word mass customization by Davis (1987) in his book Future Perfect, the allied technologies like e-commerce, internet, agile manufacturing and CAD/CAM developed rapidly (Helms, Ahmadi et al. 2008). Today, customers demand for high-quality, low-priced and uniquely customized products (Tseng, Jianxin et al. 1997) which could not be answered even by introducing thousands of varieties of each(Franke and Piller 2004). Consequently, manufacturers started to shift from mass production to mass customization in order to response to the heterogeneity of markets and increasing demands for customized products. (Piller and Tseng 2003).

In a typical mass customization system, the customers have to do many designerly activities in order to gain an individualized, ideal design solution for their needs and for most users the cost of actively designing might exceed the benefits of getting an individualized product.(Franke and Piller 2004) Though the mass customization is originated as a business strategy in marketing and manufacturing domains, the customer-as-co-designer side of it is always ignored or underestimated in research and experience (Piller 2007). The aim of this research is to study product customization process as a design task and explore the ways of improve customers’ design experience while customizing. The focus of research is specially on supporting three main designerly behaviors including “Suspending judgment”, “Maintaining parallel lines of thoughts” and “Using precedents” (Lawson 2005) in collaborative mass customization systems.

The first question of this research is to what extend the customization task is a design activity regarding to current frameworks for implementing mass customization systems? Both theoretical and practical studies will be used to answer this question. After setting the ground for “designerly ways of customizing” the next question of the research is the positive/negative effects of looking at mass customization systems from a design thinking lens. Case studies will be used to observe the effect of supporting three target designerly behaviours on customers’ design experience during customization process.

Morteza Pourmohamadi,
11 Sep 2009, 03:22