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authors Kvan, Thomas
year 1997
title Chips, chunks and sauces
source International Journal of Design Computing, 1, 1997 (Editorial)
summary I am sure there is an art in balancing the chunks to use with your chips. Then there is the sauce that envelops them both. I like my chips chunky and not too saucy. Not that I am obsessed with food but I don't think you can consider design computing without chunks. It's the sauce I'm not sure about. The chunks of which I write are not of course those in your salsa picante but those postulated by Chase and Simon (1973) reflecting on good chess players; the chunks of knowledge with which an expert tackles a problem in their domain of expertise. The more knowledge an expert has of complex and large configurations of typical problem situations (configurations of chess pieces), the greater range of solutions the expert can bring a wider to a particular problem. Those with more chunks have more options and arrive at better solutions. In other words, good designs come from having plenty of big chunks available. There has been a wealth of research in the field of computer-supported collaborative work in the contexts of writing, office management, software design and policy bodies. It is typically divided between systems which support decision making (GDSS: group decision support systems) and those which facilitate joint work (CSCW: computer-based systems for co-operative work) (see Dennis et al. (1988) for a discussion of the distinctions and their likely convergence). Most implementations in the world of design have been on CSCW systems, few have looked at trying to make a group design decision support system (GDDSS?). Most of the work in CSCD has been grounded in the heritage of situated cognition - the assumption that collaborative design is an act that is intrinsically grounded in the context within which it is carried out, that is, the sauce in which we find ourselves swimming daily. By sauce, therefore, I am referring to anything that is not knowledge in the domain of expertise, such as modes of interaction, gestures, social behaviours.
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