How Covid-19 Enabled a Global Student Design Team to Achieve Breakthrough Innovation

How Covid-19 Enabled a Global Student Design Team to Achieve Breakthrough Innovation


A data analysis method based on artificial neural networks aiming to support cause-and-effect analysis in design exploration studies is presented. The method clusters and aggregates the effects of multiple design variables based This is a qualitative single case study of a geographically distributed student team that experienced a quite different graduate course, compared to previous year’s. This was due to the restrictions placed upon them following coronavirus lockdowns. With already ongoing research, and continuous development of the course, the authors had documented individual reflections and identified patterns and behaviours that seemingly determined the quality of the end result, as well as the students expectations and experiences. Semi-structured interviews, surveys and the author’s individual reflection notes were already in place as part of the larger research scope and when the student team during the covid-19 year showed unexpected performance and results, the authors decided to pause the larger research scope and focus on this unique single case and capture those learnings. Not knowing how the Covid-19 situation evolves and leaning on insights from previous years, as well as this unique year, the aim with this paper is to describe the unique Covid-19 year amd share knowledge that can help improve and evolve the development of this longlived collaborative graduate student course, and other similar distributed team contexts.


Design education, case study, teamwork, user centered design, design learning


Elfsberg, J., Johansson, C., Frank, M., Larsson, A., Larsson, T., & Leifer, L. (2021). HOW COVID-19 ENABLED A GLOBAL STUDENT DESIGN TEAM TO ACHIEVE BREAKTHROUGH INNOVATION. Proceedings of the Design Society,1, 1705-1714. doi:10.1017/pds.2021.432


Categories: Publications, Research