Research Output
Interactive dynamics in the design process: 'model' skills from the perspectives of the client and the designer
  Increased concerns have been raised regarding the lack of coherence between interior design education and its industry in China. Although this phenomenon persists, there have been limited research studies addressing the issue. The underlying causes of the lack of coherence remains, and the industry’s expectations remain unclear. Therefore, the overall aim of this study is to explore the interactive dynamics in client-designer relationships during the design process, in order to define the industry’s expectations on essential designer skills that will enable the closure of the gap between education and practice. In-depth interviews were conducted as the data collection method in this study. Twelve participants comprising six clients and six designers were selected under a purposive sampling procedure. Data collection, analysis and limitations of the study were explored. The current industry context was identified from the literature. Five broad themes were identified from the findings: progression in design perceptions; interactive dynamics; power relations; client-designer relationship; and features in design process. The inter-relations between the current industry context and themes were examined and a framework for interior designer training and ‘model’ skills for interior designers are proposed, and the industry’s expectations and situated influences were identified that addressed the long standing knowledge gap between education and practice. The framework comprises three aspects of client-designer relationships that reflect different designer’s roles in the current industry context. The ‘model’ skills may serve as sets of criteria to support or examine the conditions. The framework and its ‘model’ skills could be adapted into strategic plans and developed into practical client-management techniques; this may help designers or organizations operating proactively, to be prepared to encounter either familiar or challenging situations.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 November 2016

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Chan, Y. Interactive dynamics in the design process: 'model' skills from the perspectives of the client and the designer. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Interactive Dynamics, Power Relations, Client-Designer Relationship, Design Process,

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