Product development increasingly involves designers with different cultural backgrounds. This paper describes an investigation into the effects of these different backgrounds on the design process. An empirical study is carried out under participation of designers drawn from industrial practice in Germany, India and China. They are observed while solving a given design problem in a laboratory setting. The recorded design processes are analyzed with a focus on cultural characteristics, which were derived from literature. The paper focuses on the following design activities: analyzing problem and requirements, working on sub-functions, deriving selection criteria, and improving solutions. The results indicate that the design processes are different and that these differences can be linked to the characteristics of culture.

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