Academic journal article Visible Language

Perspectives on Building a Philosophy of Design

Academic journal article Visible Language

Perspectives on Building a Philosophy of Design

Article excerpt

Building a Philosophy of Design is one of the three sections of the Annotated Design Research Bibliography. Design suffers from the ambiguity of its philosophical context. Although design communities attempted to solve this problem a decade ago, there is no agreement concerning what a philosophy of design might be.The study addresses the differences of philosophy in design and science.This is followed by an analysis of the most read books as determined by community ranking. Field-keyword analysis is then used to analyze interdisciplinary books and expert recommendation of books.The results from community ranking demonstrate that books related to philosophy of design still require substantial development since there is a limited literature that directly points to a philosophical context for design. Most current books tend to be design history and criticism of design. From the field-keyword analysis, the majority of books recommended fall within the social science field. From the results it is evident that design requires progressive action to establish a foundation in this area.

Philosophy of Design

Annotated Philosophy and Theory of Design List


Definitions, perspective and roles of philosophy of design

'Philosophy' has a long history and ambiguous meaning. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines philosophy with different levels of meaning: as the most general beliefs, such as concepts of love, moral self-discipline, knowledge, justification and as the attitudes of an individual or group in pursuit of wisdom. The content of philosophy comprises cognition, logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, body and mind relations, epistemology and theology. These different philosophical subcategories call into question which of them have importance to design.

Philosophy's method is both critical and constructive. Its critical function calls into question assumptions and ideas in order to clarify and understand them. Theories of knowledge and value, examined analytically, are the focus of these critical approaches. Its constructive function attempts to take into account and organize all the facts in developing a view of the world as a whole. Metaphysics and theories of reality are the focus of this approach.

The need for a philosophy of design occurs when designers seek to define their own discipline, beliefs and knowledge.

in the last thirty years, design has evolved and been influenced by scientific thinking. Many designers who teach in graduate programs nurture the hope of defining design's own body of knowledge. Nevertheless, the nature of most design problems, with their ill-defined structure, is in conflict with scientific inquiry.

Design methodologists as well as philosophers attempt to solve this problem, but there is no agreement regarding a solution. If this problem remains,the judgment of design cannot be accomplished. Design, as well as other disciplines, needs reasonable judgment and belief structures to guide its development as a discipline. Without judgment, it is impossible to take an appropriate direction to establish belief. The more we understand design judgment, the more we are able to develop new knowledge and encourage its growth.

Design appears to not belong in a single discipline; the study of subcategories of philosophy in the arts and sciences should be examined to find the knowledge that fits to design. However such an examination is beyond the scope of this brief introductory essay. Philosophy in design should stand for design knowledge, judgment,justification and new attitudes toward design.

Differences of philosophy in design and other disciplines

There is no apparent common understanding and definition concerning a philosophy of design. In contrast to the philosophy of science, which is a metalanguage that refers to an object-language (science) and is grounded in theoretical constructs, design lacks a philosophical structure. …

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