© 2019 by WhiteWood, Meri Zirkelbach

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Collaboration Design and Science

In the last few years, there has been a rethink and the interest and demand for renewable raw materials has increased. Customers are demanding more natural, environmentally friendly materials. These will be the only alternative to oil that will eventually be exhausted. By replacing existing technologies and products with the raw material wood, new markets can be opened up which guarantee a more sustainable value chain. In this context, design can serve as a supportive tool to accelerate scientific innovation. At the beginning of a research phase or during technology development design can help to develop commercial and targeted applications for the work of scientists (Sainsbury, 2007). In recent years, there have been numerous examples that the value of design and design methods plays a role in research and industry and that design can be understood as a linking element between the two (Driver et al., 2012; Itälä, 2014; Peralta, 2013). Technology transfer between disciplines and thus support for material innovation will only be possible through a dialogue between design and science.

The research of new materials requires a broader, more holistic approach, so that more sustainable concepts bring added value for society and thus for the future more quickly. Design should not only be placed in a corner as a tool for commercialization. For future projects of interdisciplinary cooperation it is rather important to focus on different approaches of design, to show its added value and to develop new approaches of colla-borative cooperation. Design no longer only serves to create "beautiful" and functional objects, but can also assume the function of designing new processes and systems of collaboration. The dialogue becomes the key element of a collaboration and can determine the success or failure of a sustainable economically sustainable material innovation.

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There is a growing awareness that the development of new innovative technologies and products requires collaboration in interdisciplinary teams. This master thesis therefore focuses on the process of collaboration between designers and scientists. At some points, the disciplines differ in their ways of thinking and working.
In a collaboration often unequal worlds meet and it requires time, resources, the development of a common language and the readiness for a mutual understanding on personal level, in order to develop a trusting working relationship. Only when these challenges have been overcome can such collaboration lead to successful results for all sides.