Henderson (1991) Flexible Sketches and Inflexible Data Bases: Visual Communication, Conscription Devices, and Boundary Objects in Design Engineering, Science Technology Human Values, 16(4), pp.448-473

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Visual representations, sketches and drawings, work as conscription devices, which enlist and organize group participation. They also work as boundary objects, which facilitate the reading of alternative meanings by people involved in the design process. Conscription devices are visually oriented inscription devices particular to engineering. They enlist the participation of those who would employ them in either the design or production process, since users must engage in the generation, editing, and correction of drawings during their construction if the design is to serve its intended function. For example, a senior designer uses a sketch as a conscription device. It not only facilitate communication between design engineers but also facilitate consultation between designers and those in production cycle. They discuss the design with a goal to get a design that is the most efficient to build. For example, these discussions can lead to saving one weld from the design.

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