With the introduction of new digital and physical tools into the workplace, the process of design has dramatically changed over the past few decades. Thus, design processes have evolved into many forms which vary, not only between organizations, but within organizations, and even within teams over time. These myriad “mutations” of the design process call for a new method to identify patterns of design activity and their change in order to deeply understand the design process. In this paper we suggest a new method for identifying patterns of activity in design teams. Such activity involves composites of distributed interactions – both socially and across digital and physical artifacts. We argue that these identifiable patterns comprise the "DNA" of design routines. To capture these patterns, we extend the sequence analysis techniques that are commonly used in genetic research to capture a design team’s interactions with both digital and physical tools over time.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kalle_lyytinen/37/