The internationalisation of design project development has created the need for participants of those design teams to collaborate across national boundaries. Design teams have traditionally been formed around the technical requirements of the project which has led to the formation of Multi-disciplinary Design Teams (MDDT) containing the professions which have the technical competencies to contribute to the project. Design research has been focussing on the role and function of these teams, specifically on the methods of communication and the move to the virtual environment currently being pursued and reported on. The formations of MDDTs now extending beyond national boundaries these teams have to contend with a range of other issues which will impact on their function and effectiveness. This paper considers the issue of the impact that culture has on the team process. Initial consideration of this aspect of the team activity may be limited to the impact of language differences among the team members but culture transcends the issue of language. The differences between the cultures represented on a MDDT must be acknowledged and addressed. This paper reports on research being conducted into the impact that culture can have on the function of not only the design team but also the potential impact this may have on the design process conducted by that team. The paper documents the issues that occur as a result of the cultural diversity within MDDTs.
IASDR 2005: 1st International Design Congress (IDC). 2005 IDC New Design Paradigms: Proceedings of International Design Congress (Yunlin, Taiwan 1-4 November, 2005)