Building Shared Understanding During Early Design

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Early Design Collaboration in construction projects can be hampered by misunderstandings between team members. Consequently, design actions are not supported by all, causing delays and frustration. This paper presents a study aiming to capture (a) misunderstandings between participants at early design stages, and (b) how these individuals resolved such misunderstandings through shared understanding. Anexploratory case study was conducted to investigate collaborative interactions of a Design Team, in an Architecture Office in San Francisco (USA). Data was collected during a concept design charrette focused at the building envelope of a Medical Office Building. Results from Protocol Analysis revealed misunderstandings emerging through independent actions and wrong assumptions among the participants, which triggered breakdowns in communication and the use of metaphors to construct shared understanding. This paper proposes a conceptual framework to explain the dynamics of shared understanding in early design stages, which could be used to help design teams to map, reflect about and improve their collaborative interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication26th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction
Subtitle of host publicationEvolving Lean Construction Towards Mature Production Management Across Cultures and Frontiers
EditorsVicente A. Gonzalez
Place of PublicationChennai, India
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789380689296
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2018
Event26th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction: Evolving Lean Construction - Towards Mature Production Across Cultures and Frontiers - Chennai, India
Duration: 16 Jul 201822 Jul 2018
Conference number: 26 (Link to Conference Website)


Conference26th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction
Abbreviated titleIGLC 2018
Internet address


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