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PHD-DESIGN  2000

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Subject:

Re: Roots of theories about designing

From:

"Owain Pedgley" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Owain Pedgley

Date:

Tue, 17 Oct 2000 17:06:23 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (54 lines)

Tim Smithers wrote... (on the phd-design list)

>Secondly, I take designing, in its many guises and
>disguises to be ubiquitous.  As Sid Newton put it, "Design
>may be something we all do as part of being human, ..."
>[Thu, 12 Oct 2000 11:06:39: Subject: Re: Bicycle Knowledge
>(coffee topic?)].  In other words, when I talk of
>designing I don't just mean professional designing.'  I
>want to mean all designing.

Tim raises an important point.  I often find that I take people's
discussions of design[ing] and design research and try and relate it to my
own particular area (product / industrial design).  Nothing wrong in that-
but if one is not too careful one can loose sight of just how ubiquitous
design activity is.   It is easy to slip into thinking that design research
means research only in fields of specialist design expertise, e.g. furniture
design, software design, mechanical design.  I'm constantly reminded of this
when I visit the library here: journal papers and books from all kinds of
academic subjects dealing with design issues.  Designing underpins much
human activity.  Discussion of designing (of intentionally devising,
planning, executing etc.) must without doubt crop up in all walks of life
and lines of work.  Indeed, on all kinds of e-mail mailing lists such as
this one.

Perhaps one key area of focus for the drs discussion list should be to
concentrate on the processes of designing that prevail across human
activities?  Perhaps we already do that- inexplicitly- by our contributions
from different backgrounds and perspectives.  I'm not sure that it has been
done explicitly yet though.  As a point of interest, to what extent are list
members currently involved in analyzing design processes that are a part of
everyday activities (rather than the application of specialist trained
skills?)  Work in this area surely gets to the very heart of what it is to
design, and brings a very down-to-earth cultural and social perspective on
the topic.

For me, my main motivation for design research is to become better
accustomed and practiced in my own specialist area of design.  Other areas
of course interest me, as does the ubiquitous nature of design.  On
occasions I take great delight in the insights that list members provide
into their own practices.  On other occasions (and more of the time) I am
overawed by the mammoth mass of books, articles, advice and comment that can
contribute to what we collectively term 'design research'.

Owain
---
Dr Owain Pedgley, R&D Industrial Designer
Sports SET Network
www.sportsetnet.org.uk
+44 (0)114 222 7853



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