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DesignLab '96


A word about our name change...

This is the home page for the OOPSLA '96 workshop on design. We used to call ourselves DesignFest, but were recently informed that the name DesignFest® is a registered trademark of the IIDA Florida Chapter. So now we are DesignLab. Maybe we should trademark our new name? This name change took effect in late September, 1996.

What's New? June 1997:

What's Changed Since OOPSLA '96:

What is DesignLab?

When is DesignLab?

The Design Problems


How to Register

Team Reports

What is DesignLab?

The OOPSLA 96 DesignLab celebrates the importance of design and creativity of designers. This year we will repeat the successful workshop of last year as a stand alone event.

You will work in small groups to solve a particular design problem, bringing to bear your experience in object oriented design and/or in working on similar problems. The goal is to learn new techniques from each other and to uncover and articulate the analysis and design patterns that we already use subconsciously.

We will provide a timetable, process hints and a list of deliverables to give you a framework for your design efforts. During the design session you will get a chance to compare your work with other groups' and use this information to improve your group's design.

Each group will have a moderator and a recorder. The recorder is responsible for reporting about what the group has achieved in design and what they have learned. The moderator is responsible for making sure that the group makes progress, without directing the group into a certain direction.

Based on feedback from last year's DesignLab participants, we are having two types of design teams this year -- prepared and spontaneous. Prepared participants will receive their problem details a month before OOPSLA. Advance registration is required for these participants.

We especially encourage people with strong opinions about how to solve these problems to apply. The design fest is not a design class nor a tutorial. We are looking for experienced designers who want to measure their skills with peers, and learn one or two things in the process.

If you are more interested in observing, but still want to participate, then please volunteer as moderator or recorder.

This web site will be updated to indicate if the DesignLab is full before OOPSLA. Space is very limited because of the rooms we have assigned to us, so it is best to apply immediately.

When is DesignLab?

DesignLab will be held on Sunday, October 6 and Tuesday, October 8, 1996. It is one of the workshop events at the OOPSLA conference. The design teams will be assigned to a time slot on either Sunday or Tuesday, but not both days. Later in the week the results of DesignLab will be presented on posters, and there will be a conference panel presentation on Thursday.

The Design Problems

You can choose to work on one of these problems:

For each problem we will provide a detailed description of the domain and a requirements specification. A domain expert who acts as the customer will be available during the design sessions.

If you are interested in the write-up of one team's design from DesignFest '95, look at Ward Cunningham's site.


The Guidelines for problem authors, moderator, recorder, and the suggested process for teams during DesignLab are in the draft stage. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

How to Register

Late-breaking Update (September 30, 1996)

We are no longer accepting advance registrations. There will be no more registrations taken for the Sunday teams. At OOPSLA you may be able to register for one of the Tuesday teams. Go to the Information Booth at OOPSLA to sign up.

Team Reports

Metalevel Programming, report by Torsten Layda

Automation, report by Bradford G. Van Treuren

Large Systems, report by Gerard Meszaros

DesignLab '96 Organizers

Peter Kriens, aQute (DesignLab '97 Organizing Committee Chairperson)
Jonathan R. Engelsma, Motorola (DesignLab '97 Organizing Committee Member)
Barbara Yates, Bytesmiths (DesignLab '97 Webmaster & Committee Member)
Ralph Johnson, University of Illinois

This site was last updated: January 17, 1997.
If you discover any errors, please send email to

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