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Open Access Elements of a shared theory of science for design

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Higher education for the design professions – designers, architects and engineers – has been combining traditional disciplines of research and design in new ways, into what is now known as design research. As a discipline in its own right, design research is still quite young, and the design professions need a theory of science that takes their specific character into account, thus contributing to their self-image, and locating them in the greater landscape of research. Using philosophically oriented conceptual analysis I develop a system of basic concepts as elements of such a theory of science for the design professions. The concepts of design, research and design research are analysed, clarified and coordinated, in relation to concepts such as knowledge, theory and practice. At the same time I propose a precise, yet intuitive, terminology that may be shared and foster cross-disciplinary understanding and communication among the design professions, and which each of them can expand for purposes of its own.
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Keywords: design; design research; interdisciplinarity; philosophy of design; research; theory of science

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design

Publication date: June 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Intellect is honoured to be publishing its first ever open access journal, Artifact: Journal of Design Practice. Since its first publication in 2007, Artifact has focused on practice-based design research and aims to explore conditions, issues and tasks pertaining to design development in a broad sense. As an international design research journal, Artifact targets the global design research community with the aim of strengthening knowledge sharing and theory building of relevance to design practice. All articles and research notes are subject to double-blind peer-review.

    The journal is cross-disciplinary in scope and welcomes contributions from all fields of design research including product design and visual communication, user experience, interface, and service design as well as design management and organization.

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