Can there be scientific theories of design that do not scientize design?

This paper asks, Can there be scientific theories of design that do not scientizedesign? And it answers in the affirmative. Not only can there be scientifictheories of design that do not scientize design but also that a scientific lens can potentially reveal important aspects of the design process. We apply KarlPopper’s criteria for the scientific status of a theory to four seminal theories ofthe design process: Bounded Rationality, FBS Framework, Figural Complexity, and C-K Theory. We demonstrate that (1) some theories about design can beconstrued as scientific in Popper’s terms, and that (2) these theories do not“scientize” the design process

Publication

Beck, J., & Stolterman, E. (2015). Can there be scientific theories of design that do not scientize design? In the Proceedings from the European Academy of Design, Paris Descartes University, Paris, 22-24 April.

Student Goes on a Journey; Stranger Rides Into to the Classroom: Narratives and the Instructor in the Design Studio

Abstract

Enthusiasm is growing in non-traditional environments for teaching design by adapting knowledge and approaches from studio pedagogy, described as a “signature pedagogy” by Shulman in 2005. Meanwhile, those in fields where some variation of studio pedagogy have been used for decades are engaged in addressing some of its experienced shortcomings. Within this landscape of change, the authors have been engaged in study of their own studio-based courses, (interior design, instructional design, and interaction/experience design), reflecting on how this form of pedagogy is contributing to students’ development as designers. In this study we consider the role of the instructor in the studio using a lens informed by narrative aesthetics and transformative education. The narrative that an instructor encourages students to experience with regard to themselves, to the instructor, or to both, has a profound impact in the studio environment. This paper will explore that impact within the context of the authors’ own courses via review of course notes and collaborative reflection with colleagues.

Publication

Boling, E., Siegel, M., Smtih, K., Parrish, P. (2013) Student Goes on a Journey; Stranger Rides Into to the Classroom: Narratives and the Instructor in the Design Studio. DRS // CUMULUS 2013. 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers. Submitted for Publication.

Collaborators

  • Elizabeth Boling, Indiana University
  • Marty Siegel, Indiana University
  • Kennon Smith, Indiana University
  • Patrick Parrish, World Meteorological Organization Geneva

Building the Narrative Cloud: Reflection and Distributed Cognition in a Design Studio Classroom

Abstract

Education in Human-Computer Interaction Design (HCI/d) aims to instill a human-centered perspective among its students, encouraging a designerly way of thinking that allows them to develop creative solutions that consider the implications and consequences of people interacting with technology. It has been known that a practicum (Schön, 1987) environment contributes to developing this way of thinking by means of reflection (Schön, 1987). We present in this paper a pedagogical approach based on narratives to be employed in studio-based courses for HCI/d. We discuss how oral and multimedia narratives support in conveying content-independent concepts that affect the learning experience. We propose a set of components to help the elaboration of these stories. Additionally, we introduce a conceptual space called the narrative cloud, which helps us to elaborate on the ideas regarding this approach and closely ties to the concept of distributed cognition (Hutchins, 2000). Therefore, the goal of this paper is establish a base for discussing a further development of this approach, or any framework or methods where narratives constitute a fundamental element that supports reflection in HCI/d education.

The Narrative Cloud and Content-Independent Concepts by Sosa Tzec, Beck, and Siegel
In this approach, the instructor –labeled “i” in the figure– selects one concept as an intellectual foundation for a story. The aim is to engage students –labeled “s” in the figure– into reflection (Schön, 1987) upon themselves as learners, team members, and ultimately, as agents of positive change through and by HCI Design. We call these foundational concepts Content Independent Concepts (CIC). For conveying these concepts we suggest oral and multimedia stories (e.g. video clips or musical pieces). As a result of this sensitizing process, the students start building their own stories. These stories and all the other elements of the studio –people, infrastructure, and materials– function as units for distributing cognition and conform to a bigger story, a conceptual space we call The Narrative Cloud.

Publication

Sosa Tzec, O., Beck, J. E., Siegel, M. A. (2013) Building the Narrative Cloud: Reflection and Distributed Cognition in a Design Studio Classroom. DRS // CUMULUS 2013. 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers. Submitted for Publication. [PDF]
[Read online]

Related Material

Siegel, M. & Stolterman, E. (2008). “Metamorphosis: Transforming Non-designers into Designers”, DRS Conference, July, Sheffield, 2008. [PDF]

Nelson, H. & Stolterman, E. (2012). The Design Way. Cambridge: MIT Press. [More info]

Presentation

Sketching design thinking: representations of design in education and practice

Abstract

Research on design pedagogy has shown that students progress through a variety of barriers on the path to becoming a successful design practitioner, and that frameworks for explicit reflection can be beneficial to the development of design students. Schön uses the concept of reflection-on- action to describe one form of reflection on design practice, with the eventual goal of improving design processes and judgment. In this study, sketching is used as a form of reflection-on-action in a first semester intensive course in interaction design (IxD). This sketch reflects the student’s current understanding of the “whole game” or holistic view of design in IxD. Current practitioners in IxD companies were asked to draw the “whole game” sketch as well. Parallels among the sketches and areas of divergence are discussed. In summary, students shifted from abstract, linear representations of process early in the semester to more concrete, iterative representations by the end of their first semester. Practitioner sketches were more abstract and linear, but also included representations of business terminology and design teams.

Publication

Gray, C. M. & Siegel, M. A. (2013). Sketching Design Thinking: Representations of Design in Education and Practice. DRS // CUMULUS 2013: 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers, Oslo, Norway, 2007-2031. [Paper]

Presentation