Boujut, J-F., Hisarciklilar, O., (2012) Using a semiotic classification to characterise objects involved in collaborative design, Journal of Design Research, 10 (3), pp. 155-169

In cooperative design communication shifts from asynchronous to synchronous. Paper studies annotations (mostly in 2D and 3D product representations) as means to support design communication. Segmentation between expertise (design & manufacturing) has requested the use of accurate representations. In 2D drawings there is a standardized form and drawing rules. The symbols can be considered as a local language used by the various stakeholders of the engineering process to convey specific technical information. For the 3D drawings, there is no equivalent. The standardized way of drawing is used to” de-contextualise” the message, so that the drawing acts as a mediator between two actors of a design chain. Hence, the annotations in the drawings can support communication as pointers to relevant context information.
For the communication tools the authors list some requirements:
– tool should allow participants to express their specific point of view by eliciting some domain specific information and put them on the representation to overcome knowledge boundaries
– During asynchronous phases, the stakeholders should be able to continue the discussions initiated during the review meetings. For example, to anticipate some points that will be discussed during the future meeting, the participants should be able to annotate the 3D representation prior to the meeting and react to other comments.