Discussions:Design and Science
Alex Cheek 3/22/2016
Private. Collaborators only.
Selection made on Version 15
On Professor Neri Oxman’s Krebs Cycle of Creativity of the relationship between the disciplines, design and science are opposite one another on the circle, and the output of one is not the input of the other as is often the case of engineering and design or science and engineering. I believe that by making a “lens” and a fusion of design and science, we can fundamentally advance both. This connection includes both the science of design and the design of science, as well as the dynamic relationship between these two activities.
I believe that by making a “lens” and a fusion of design and science, we can fundamentally advance both.
Joi, do you have a way of describing what it would mean to advance design?
Not being a scientist, science seems to have a telos of expansion of knowledge towards the elusive theory of everything. Design lacks that clear trajectory, and without it, advancement is trickier to define. Herb Simon’s definition of design, is my best way into that question, (http://www.jstor.org/stable/1511391):
Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.
From this perspective, advancing design could be about better devised “courses of action,” more “preferred situations,” or both!
The rest of the quote, from the same opening paragraph of The Science of Design: Creating the Artificial, unpacks this definition and takes us deeper:
Design so construed, is the core of all professional training; it is the principal mark that distinguishes the professions from sciences. Schools of engineering, as well as schools of architecture, business, education, law, and medicine, are all centrally concerned with the process of design.
With this in mind, we might think of advancing design as advancing “the professions” to develop better “courses of action,” leading to more “preferred situations.” This feels suitably antidisciplinary and participatory. As a service designer in a financial services organisation, this feels very familiar as I am constantly encouraging professionals like actuaries, lawyers, investment experts and bankers to consider the whole situation they are influencing and to strive to change them for the better.