1. p. 49
Theo van Doesburg,
expressed his perception of a new spirit in art and design:
“Our epoch is hostile to every subjective speculation in art, science, technology, etc. The new spirit, which already governs almost all modern life, is opposed to animal spontaneity, to nature’s domination, to artistic flummery. In order to construct a new object we need a method, that is to say, an objective system.”
the architect Le Corbusier wrote about the house as an objectively
designed “machine for living:”
“The use of the house consists of a regular sequence of definite functions. The regular sequence of these
functions is a traffic phenomenon. To render that traffic exact, economical, and rapid is the key effort of modern architectural science.”
In both comments, and throughout much of the modern movement, we see a desire to produce works of art and design based on objectivity and rationality, that is, on the values of science.
1960s: "design science decade"
1970s: a backlash against design methodology
Christopher Alexander, who had originated a rational method for architecture
and planning, now said:
“I’ve disassociated myself from the field...
There is so little in what is called “design methods” that has
anything useful to say about how to design buildings that I never
even read the literature anymore... I would say forget it, forget the
J. Christopher Jones, said:
“In the 1970s, I reacted against design methods. I dislike the
machine language, the behaviorism, the continual attempt to fix the
whole of life into a logical framework.
Fundamental issues also were raised by Rittel and Webber,
who characterized design and planning problems as “wicked”
problems, fundamentally unamenable to the techniques of science
and engineering, which dealt with “tame” problems.
3. p. 51
Scientists try to identify the components of existing structures,
designers try to shape the components of new structures.
The scientific method is a pattern of problem-solving
behavior employed in finding out the nature of what exists,
whereas the design method is a pattern of behavior
employed in inventing things...which do not yet exist.
Science is analytic; design is constructive.
The natural sciences are concerned with how things
are...design on the other hand is concerned with how things
ought to be.
"There may indeed be a critical distinction to be made: method may
be vital to the practice of science (where it validates the results), but
not to the practice of design (where results do not have to be repeatable,
and, in most cases, must not be repeated, or copied)."
Cross et al. claimed that the epistemology of science was, in any case, in disarray
and, therefore, had little to offer an epistemology of design.
Glynn later suggested that “It is the epistemology of design that
has inherited the task of developing the logic of creativity, hypothesis
innovation, or invention that has proved so elusive to the philosophers of science.”
4. Scientific Design p. 52
"...scientific design refers to modern, industrialized design—as distinct from pre-industrial, craft-oriented
design-based on scientific knowledge but utilizing a mix of both intuitive and nonintuitive design methods."
5. Design Science p. 52-53
"...design science refers to an explicitly organized, rational, and wholly systematic approach to design;
not just the utilization of scientific knowledge of artifacts, but design in some sense as a scientific activity itself."
This certainly is a controversial concept, challenged by many designers and design theorists.
"Most opinion among design methodologists and among
designers holds that the act of designing itself is not and
will not ever be a scientific activity; that is, that designing is
itself a nonscientific or ascientific activity."
6. Science of Design p. 53
“design methodology”; the study of the principles, practices, and procedures of design.
...the science of design refers to that
body of work which attempts to improve our understanding of
design through “scientific” (i.e., systematic, reliable) methods of
investigation. And let us be clear that a “science of design” is not the
same as a “design science.”
7. Design as a Discipline p. 53-54
Donald Schön explicitly challenged the positivist doctrine underlying much of the “design science” movement, and offered instead a constructivist paradigm.
Schön proposed, instead, to search for “an epistemology of practice implicit in the artistic, intuitive processes which some practitioners do bring to situations of uncertainty, instability, uniqueness, and value conflict,” and which he characterized as “reflective practice.”
1990s in “design thinking research”
"Design as a discipline, therefore, can mean design studied on its own terms, and within its own rigorous culture. It can mean a science of design based on the reflective practice of design: design as a discipline, but not design as a science."
"What designers especially know about is the “artificial world”—the human-made world of artifacts. What they especially know how to do is the proposing of additions to and changes to the
artificial world. Their knowledge, skills, and values lie in the techniques of the artificial. (Not “the sciences of the artificial.”) So design knowledge is of and about the artificial world and how to contribute to the creation and maintenance of that world."
Designerly Ways of Knowing (book)
1. The discipline of design (p. 29)
"First, I have to stressed that we must seek to interpret this core of knowledge in terms of its intrinsic educational value, and not in the instrumental terms that are associated with traditional, vocational design education."
Five aspects of designerly ways of knowing:
- Designers tackle 'ill-defined' problems.
- Their mode of problem-solving is 'solution-focused'.
- Their model of thinking is 'constructive'.
- They use 'codes' that translate abstract requirements into concrete objects.
- They use these codes to both 'read' and 'write' in 'object languages'.