Photo of Wonjoon Chung

WonJoon Chung

Graduate Program Coordinator, Associate Professor


    WonJoon Chung is an assistant professor at SID in Carleton University with research interests in developing methods or tools to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration, co-design, and group ideation process. Specifically, he is interested in developing design collaboration through “the implication of Jazz improvisation”, “Investigation of the principles of design sketches for idea visualization”, “development of theoretical foundation of early prototype use” and” the theoretical framework of metaphor for product designers”. Dr. Chung has Ph.D. from Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) where he focused on developing a theoretical framework of early prototype use to foster design collaboration, and M.A. from the Ohio State University and B.A. from Konkuk University in South Korea. In his professional career, he worked as a kitchen furniture designer in ENEX, the biggest kitchen furniture company in S. Korea, a design researcher in Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio and an adjunct professor at Institute of Design, IIT.


    Dr. Chung has been working on developing specific methods or tools that can be used in the stage of data analysis to find user insights and that of synthesis to generate innovative and compelling design ideas, particularly in interdisciplinary collaborative situation. Also, he is interested in investigating the fundamental principles of design in design practices. For example, he argued that interdisciplinary collaboration is not always guarantee productive results if its theoretical, institutional and educational aspects are not well defined. Based on this notion, he developed theoretical framework of an effective group collaboration by employing the notion of Activity Theory. Furthermore, he investigated the theoretical structure of the origin of metaphors and proposed the syllogistic configuration of metaphor, “X is to T what T is to Y”, where T refers to the attributes of the metaphor. Based on the foundational study, he conducted funded government projects, one for Korea Institute of Design Promotion (KIDP) and the other for a design firm in Korea that helped him to establish a partnership with a number of prestigious industry partners as well as design departments in universities in Korea.

    Dr. Chung have published in several peer reviewed papers in international conferences and journals; for example, the paper, “Theoretical Background of Early Prototype Use in Cross-functional Collaborative Design Context” (Chung, 2009) presented in IASDR conference in Seoul, Korea, discussed fundamental background of early prototype use that can be utilized in interdisciplinary contexts. Further building on this idea in team collaboration with other disciplines were two journal papers, “Finding Serendipity in Early Prototyping” (Lacerda & Chung, 2013) and “Improvisational Interaction in Collaborative Design Process” (Lacerda & Chung, 2011), published in an international journal, Design Principles and Practices. These were themselves the results of collaboration with Professor Jesse Stewart in Music department at Carleton University, the co- advisor of one of his master students, who applied the idea of interdisciplinary collaboration Dr. Chung has been investigating in his ethnographic observation of Jazz jam sessions and in-depth interviews with jazz musicians.