Cite as:

Mark Klein, Hiroki Sayama, Peyman Faratin, and Yaneer 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.