Barriers and enablers for creating shared understanding in co-design projects

Maaike Kleinsmann, Rianne Valkenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores what the barriers and enablers are for the creation of shared understanding during a co-design process in industry. Knowing the barriers and enablers provides knowledge about how actors within a collaborative design project deal with their mutual differences. This is important since it influences both the effectiveness and quality of the design process. In order to provide more insight in the nature of the barriers and enablers, they are categorized in two different ways. First, we distinguished three organizational levels: the actor, project and company level. Second, the barriers and enablers were clustered according to their content. The results show that the clusters of barriers and enablers all concerned a different type of interface. Within each interface barriers and enablers on the three different organizational levels exist. This means that the effectiveness of creating shared understanding is not only dependent on face-to-face communication, but also on project management and project organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-386
Number of pages18
JournalDesign Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • case study
  • collaborative design
  • communication
  • design management
  • interdisciplinarity


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