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This paper presents the analyses of twelve interviews with structural engineers and architects integrated with a comprehensive literature review about the behaviour of architects and structural engineers when communicating and collaborating in the early phase of the design process. The focus is on creating a tool
to deal with behavioural, communicative and collaborative problems of the actors involved when collaborating to design folding spatial structures.
By analysing and interpreting various aspects of communication and collaboration n the interviews and literature, the relationship between behaviour of the actors involved and the design process is developed. Within that framework the use of prototypes, models and other tools in relation to communication and collaboration between the actors is analysed. This enables to create tools to design folding spatial structures taking into account behavioural-, communicative- and collaborative aspects during the early phase of the design process.
Behaviour, communication, collaboration, tools, architects, engineers, design.
As well in the work of Runberger, as in the work of Oostra, Smit and Eekhout the behavioural, communicative and collaborative aspects between architects and engineers, including their controversies, ‘disappear’ into process models and need further research. A multi layered tool should motivate, activate and inspire architects as well as structural engineers to ‘map their controversies’.
Discussion and future outlook
A limitation to the interviews is they where only conducted with Dutch architects and structural engineers. On one hand this limitation seems to neglect cultural, juridical and other aspects. However, as the tool is still under development and the stance for developing the tool is not this is how you must do it, but based on research, this is how you can do it, this can not be a huge problem.
Future research will involve International Master students, starting practitioners and experienced practitioners to further develop the three layers through different actions. This in order to develop a design tool for architects and structural engineers they can use when designing folding spatial structures.