Abstract

Various starting points might be selected for the origin of design research but this paper will begin with the design methods movement in Great Britain. Two of the leading figures in the movement were Bruce Archer and John Chris Jones. The original conference on design methods was held in London in 1962 and Jones published the first edition of Design Methods: Seeds of Human Futures in 1970. Archer was involved with the establishment of the Industrial Design Research Unit at the RCA in the early 1960s and was also a founder of the Design Research Society in 1976. The DRS journal Design Studies was founded three years later. Design methods in the United States continued to develop through the Design methods Group at the University of California, Berkeley in the late 1960s. Horst Rittel was a central figure in this group. In 1968 Herbert Simon gave the Compton Lectures at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. These were published shortly thereafter as The Sciences of the Artificial, which became a seminal book in the field of design research. Another group on design methods, which included Donald Schön, also developed at MIT. In the fall of 1982, the academic design journal Design Issues: History, Theory, Criticism was founded at the University of Illinois, Chicago and the first issue was published in 1984. Among its activities, the editors organized the first conference on doctoral education in design, which was held at Ohio State University in 1968. During the 1990s, the international network of societies and associations involved with design research expanded to include organizations in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The Design Research Society organized a series of international research conference and an organization that includes a number of research societies in Asia and Europe was formed. While there is much activity today, there is still a problem in connecting the various discourse communities into a more coherent field of activity.

Keywords:

Design Research, Design Studies, Design History

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Design Research: Towards a History

Various starting points might be selected for the origin of design research but this paper will begin with the design methods movement in Great Britain. Two of the leading figures in the movement were Bruce Archer and John Chris Jones. The original conference on design methods was held in London in 1962 and Jones published the first edition of Design Methods: Seeds of Human Futures in 1970. Archer was involved with the establishment of the Industrial Design Research Unit at the RCA in the early 1960s and was also a founder of the Design Research Society in 1976. The DRS journal Design Studies was founded three years later. Design methods in the United States continued to develop through the Design methods Group at the University of California, Berkeley in the late 1960s. Horst Rittel was a central figure in this group. In 1968 Herbert Simon gave the Compton Lectures at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. These were published shortly thereafter as The Sciences of the Artificial, which became a seminal book in the field of design research. Another group on design methods, which included Donald Schön, also developed at MIT. In the fall of 1982, the academic design journal Design Issues: History, Theory, Criticism was founded at the University of Illinois, Chicago and the first issue was published in 1984. Among its activities, the editors organized the first conference on doctoral education in design, which was held at Ohio State University in 1968. During the 1990s, the international network of societies and associations involved with design research expanded to include organizations in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. The Design Research Society organized a series of international research conference and an organization that includes a number of research societies in Asia and Europe was formed. While there is much activity today, there is still a problem in connecting the various discourse communities into a more coherent field of activity.

 

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