Imperial College London

Mr Sander Välk

Faculty of EngineeringDyson School of Design Engineering

Research Postgraduate







Dyson BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

7 results found

Valk S, Chen Y, Dieckmann E, Mougenot Cet al., 2023, Supporting collaborative biodesign ideation with contextualised knowledge from bioscience, CoDesign, Vol: 19, ISSN: 1571-0882

The objective of this work is to support co-creation of novel ideas in biodesign during fast-paced and facilitated workshops. We created a card-based tool which simultaneously provides knowledge on both ‘science’ and ‘context’. The tool was used to trigger and inspire collaborative ideation in two biodesign workshops in which participants from scientific and design backgrounds produced ideas for healthcare-related innovations. To understand the perception of the tool and the mechanism of scientific knowledge integration in ideation, we conducted post-workshop interviews with 10 participants. Our qualitative analysis shows that the exposure to contextualised scientific knowledge provided by the tool enabled participants to generate ideas that cover a wide spectrum from the micro-scale of bioscience to the macro-scale of socio-political contexts, and thus supported the acceleration of ideation in biodesign workshops.

Journal article

Valk S, Thabsuwan C, Mougenot C, 2023, The ideation compass: supporting interdisciplinary creative dialogues with real time visualization, International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, Vol: 11, Pages: 99-116, ISSN: 2165-0349

This study presents the potential of live topic visualization in supporting creative dialogs during remote idea generation. We developed a novel Creativity Support Tool (CST) to explore the effects of the live topic visualization. The tool emphasizes the interdisciplinary knowledge background of participants. Using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and topic modeling, the tool provides users with a live visual mapping of the domains and topics being orally discussed. To understand the tool’s user perceived effects, we conducted evaluation sessions and interviews with participants (N = 10) from two different disciplinary backgrounds: design and bioscience. The findings show that live visualization of domains and topics supported self-reflection during individual and collaborative creativity and encouraged a balanced discussion, which can mitigate discipline-based fixation in ideation.

Journal article

Valk S, Chen Y, Nguyen M, Toivonen T, Mougenot Cet al., 2022, Ideation and Consequence Scanning Beyond Human Perspectives in Biodesign, Design Research Society 2022

Biodesign is an emerging interdisciplinary field which is accelerated by recent advance-ments in biotechnology and engineering. The field offers novel opportunities to design in-novative processes, products, services, materials and experiences. However, designing with the living and incorporating organisms into human-centric solutions raises critical ques-tions about ethics, handling of species, human dominated power dynamics and exploitative behaviours. The purpose of this workshop is to explore and discuss these critical questions from more than human perspectives and acknowledge biases in biodesign. The workshop offers an opportunity for this exploration through two interactive activities: firstly, bi-odesign idea generation with support from Design x Science cards, and secondly, conse-quence scanning – a guided activity that provides an opportunity to mitigate potential harms and innovate responsibly. An expected outcome of the workshop is shared under-standing about potential implications of biodesign innovations on nonhuman collaborators. Participants can also expect to experience use of a novel creativity support tool for bi-odesign ideation. This workshop is inviting participants with diverse backgrounds and interests (interdisciplinary ideation, bio-sciences, innovation, responsible design, multispecies ethics) with or without prior related experience). We aim to build a connected interdisci-plinary community within DRS that can positively impact the emergence of responsible bioeconomy.

Conference paper

Valk S, Chen Y, Mougenot C, 2021, Towards a designerly way of thinking for bioengineers with ‘Design and Science’ cards, IASDR 2021

Conference paper

Valk S, Mougenot C, 2020, Generative boundary objects as integral parts of framing in design and bioscience collaborations, DESIGN 2020, Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Pages: 1135-1144, ISSN: 2633-7762

Collaborations between design engineers and bioscientists offer novel opportunities that could help solving some of the biggest challenges organisations and societies are facing. Combining design and bioscience has the potential to create responsible and desirable products/services, however such ventures come with challenges rising from boundaries between practices. This research explores boundary objects as sources of framing in multidisciplinary collaborations. The results are based on a descriptive study with synthetic biologists and design engineers working on an innovation-driven task.

Conference paper

Valk S, Maudet N, Mougenot C, 2019, Exploring how boundary objects can support multidisciplinary design and science collaboration, IASDR 2019, Publisher: IASDR

In order to solve complex issues, professionals from different fields of expertise increasingly collaborate across domains. These collaborations require meaningful and efficient processes, particularly when design approaches and scientific knowledge is combined.Based on there view of existing literature on the role of incidental learning in ideation and boundary objects in multidisciplinary team creativity, it can be proposed that knowledge sharing can support collective creativity.This approachwas tested in a preliminary study of a collaborative creative task withpairs of design engineers and bio-scientists. Four pairs wereasked to jointly discuss a healthcare-centred innovation brief,and generate novel ideas based on their own expertise. The findings show that boundary objects supportknowledge sharing across disciplinesin creative collaborations-in thiscase, design engineering and synthetic biology.While strong role asymmetry was observed, it has been found that boundary objects are instrumental in ensuring both parties participate effectively in the creative session. In the study, designers were found to be steeringthe conversationsby generating boundary objectsmore frequently than scientists (66% of total number vs. 34%)and sharing knowledge on the design process withthem.This initial study willlater inform the development of a toolkit that aims to support science and design collaboration process.

Conference paper

Valk S, Mougenot C, 2019, Towards creativity stimulating design intervention for multidisciplinary innovation teams, International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 2019), Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Pages: 239-248

The aim of our research is to stimulate cross disciplinary design collaboration to improve innovation processes in product and service design domain. We focus on the intersection of biotechnology and design as this field poses great challenges and opportunities for innovation, and it has received little attention in light of technological advancements of digital goods over the past decades. Experimental studies in the area expose challenging interactions, rising from lack of common vocabulary and preconceptions. Organisational management studies suggest that creativity is a prerequisite for innovation in group processes. As such, we are interested in enhancing collective creativity. Numerous studies investigate external creativity triggers, however only on individual level. Our review suggests that external triggers can be effective when the task is problem solving or styling, but ambiguous goals like innovation require stimulation of intrinsic triggers, such as group incidental learning and tacit knowledge. To explain this, we propose a hypothetical innovation approach, that draws attention to cognitive stimulation methods leading to creativity in multidisciplinary teams.

Conference paper

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