Cite as:

M. Klein, H. Sayama, P. Faratin, and Y. Bar-Yam: A complex systems perspective on computer-supported collaborative design technology, Communications of the ACM 45:11, 27-31, 2002.


Collaborative design is challenging in that strong interdependencies between design issues make it difficult to converge on a single design that satisfies these dependencies and is acceptable to all participants. Current collaborative design processes are typically characterized by multiple iterations and/or heavy reliance on multifunctional design reviews, both of which are expensive and time- consuming; poor incorporation of some important design concerns, typically later life-cycle issues such as environmental impact; and reduced creativity due to the tendency to incrementally modify known successful designs rather than explore radically different and potentially superior ones.