Abstract

The design process is a central object of inquiry in design research. Many scholars have studied designing and presented their findings in the form of models, frameworks, and schemas. A general understanding of designing is an interesting prospect, and yet there seem to be fewer theories about the design process achieving (or aspiring to achieve) scientific status. In this paper, we explore possible reasons why this may be the case. Based on ongoing research about design theories (n=175), we explore the possibility that there are fewer scientific theories about the design process. Then, we propose three possible arguments as to why, including: (1) Scientific theories about designing are not useful to practitioners, (2) design research is building its own intellectual culture, and (3) different ways of understanding scientific theories may yield different results.

Keywords:

design research; design theory; research methodology; theory

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Three Arguments About the Current State of Scientific Design Process Theories

The design process is a central object of inquiry in design research. Many scholars have studied designing and presented their findings in the form of models, frameworks, and schemas. A general understanding of designing is an interesting prospect, and yet there seem to be fewer theories about the design process achieving (or aspiring to achieve) scientific status. In this paper, we explore possible reasons why this may be the case. Based on ongoing research about design theories (n=175), we explore the possibility that there are fewer scientific theories about the design process. Then, we propose three possible arguments as to why, including: (1) Scientific theories about designing are not useful to practitioners, (2) design research is building its own intellectual culture, and (3) different ways of understanding scientific theories may yield different results.

 

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