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PHD-DESIGN  May 2019

PHD-DESIGN May 2019

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Subject:

Re: A definition of design must also exclude as well as include

From:

Thea Blackler <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 31 May 2019 05:04:36 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Me too - that is the point I was trying to make with my post but it had the opposite to intended effect.



Professor Thea Blackler

Discipline Leader for Experiential Design

(incorporating Industrial, Interaction, Visual Communication and Fashion Design)

Queensland University of Technology

2 George Street Brisbane QLD 4001

Australia



Phone: +61 7 3138 7030

Mobile: +61 410 736494

Web: https://research.qut.edu.au/designlab/

Eprints: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/view/person/Blackler,_Alethea.html

Orcid: orcid.org/0000-0002-9406-2645





-----Original Message-----

From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Philip Whiting

Sent: Friday, 31 May 2019 2:46 PM

To: [log in to unmask]

Subject: Re: A definition of design must also exclude as well as include



Brilliant Klaus, I couldn’t agree more after all the navel-gazing thus far



Sent from my iPhone



> On 31 May 2019, at 2:18 pm, Krippendorff, Klaus <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 

> I have been following the flood of comments on definitions of design and want to merely assert my opinion of its fruitlessness.

> 

> Published dictionaries feature definitions that linguistic experts consider the common use by a great number of speakers of a language.  

> It is undoubtedly interested to see the etymological origins of word meanings. These etymologies show that meanings change in use and especially when they cross boundaries of natural languages, usually with adopting new practices or technologies. Most speakers of a language contribute to such changes. Yes there are linguistic innovators and followers.

> 

> Frankly, I find it unfortunate how the contemporary advertisement 

> industry has adopted the word to improve sales, e.g. designer clothes. 

> How the only designers that are popularized in the media are fashion 

> designers. That design is being associated largely with aesthetics = 

> creating popular appeals. This is evidence of popular uses of design 

> we will have to cope with

> 

> There are other perfectly valid uses of the word by non-designers, such as designing psychological experiments or aptitude tests.

> 

> The hope for a formal definition, if agreed upon, is unlikely succeed in view of the millions of users of the term that need to be convinced to comply. We do not have the power to enforce it. 

> 

> The only path to an acceptable definition of design is by creating widely read literature soundly demonstrating the value of a preferred definition. Unfortunately the community of designers rarely publish work that is convincing nearly everyone -- not to dwell of significant disagreements among designers on whether aesthetics is part of it or whether it needs to be evidence based.

> 

> Herbert Simon is a frequently cited academic work. I happen to disagree with his insistence on plans of actions that improve something -- in his writing mainly solving given problems. His conception of design excludes what in my own writing is far more important, namely conceptualizing something that nobody else had imagined and facilitating the realization of something without precedence. Optimizing a part of something already known or replacing something that turns out to be disadvantageous stays entirely within the known. Solving problems that others have defined for designers to tackle makes designers into slaves of their employers. Writing specifications, analogue to programming a computer, which Terry has identified as the defining practice of designers, puts designers in charge of the production of products. This definition can be traced to the beginning of the industrial revolution where the design profession started, being ce;berated experts of the final appearance of industrial products. 

> 

> In my own design experiences (and writing), the ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams, to be willing to delegate design decisions to its stakeholders, to think out of the box of language, and to dare going where nobody has been before is what distinguishes a designer from  people who merely modify what is already familiar.

> 

> I suggest that everyone who writes about design or practices it is entitled to create his or her own definition. If that writing is compelling or its practice is recognizable as outstanding, then, maybe the meaning of design will shift and more and more people will come on board.

> 

> Klaus

> 

> -----Original Message-----

> From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and 

> related research in [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of 

> Ken Friedman

> Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2019 5:33 PM

> To: [log in to unmask]

> Subject: Re: A definition of design must also exclude as well as 

> include

> 

> Dear All,

> 

> Lubomir Popov’s comment on dictionaries and the difference between defining words and defining terms make good sense. Even so, there is some value in reviewing the definitions available in dictionaries that serve scientific and scholarly purposes.

> 

> The Oxford English Dictionary permits us to examine the use and nuances of the word “design” as verb, noun, and compound noun. For each, it provides usage exemplars that shed light on how the word is used in many contexts.

> 

> Attached to this post is a .pdf transcript of the word “design” in the 

> Oxford English Dictionary and in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate 

> Dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary is the greatest and most 

> authoritative dictionary of the English language. While it defines 

> words in their largest and most general sense, it also offers the 

> narrow definitions that scientists, scholars, and researchers require 

> in specific contexts. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is the 

> desk dictionary most widely used by editors at academic publishing 

> firms, university presses, and journals. [See attachment.]

> 

> Lubomir is right to state that defining words is different from defining terms and concepts. There has been little of this work in the design fields and disciplines. From time to time, however, selected articles have offered useful analytical discussions on the meanings of the word “design,” defining the word and attempting to clarify concepts. 

> 

> Unfortunately, these have been far outnumbered by confusing and opinionated articles, some quite silly. In my view, the very strangest was an attempt by a non-English scholar to analyse the word “design” in an article that pointed to the phrase “intelligent design” to claim that the word “design” has theological roots. For those who are not aware of the creationist debate, the term “intelligent design” is used by advocates of the religious doctrine known as creation science to argue for the account of creation that appears in Genesis 1:1-31 and 2:1-23. The doctrine of creation science posits the Genesis account against the theory of evolution, and the concept of intelligent design plays a part in the argument supporting the Genesis account. The article analysing the word design made the mistaken — and anachronistic — claim that the recent term “intelligent design” gave a theological meaning to the far earlier formation of the word “design.” While this article sticks in my mind as especially far-fetched, other articles put forward equally problematic assertions on the meaning, etymology, and history of the word and its use.

> 

> In my view, our field would benefit from a serious formal analysis of the word “design” with careful analytical notes and documented usage exemplars. That, in turn, would lead to the possibility of a formal terminology with related concepts of the kind that Lubomir advocates. The formal terminology would probably have limited uses, but these might inform better informed concepts and richer inquiry. Even so, as Thea Blacker noted, this won’t change the way that most people use the word “design.” The word is used in too many ways across different fields, disciplines, nations, cultures, and languages for a formal terminology to change broad usage. Even so, a formal analysis would be useful.   

> 

> It would be a real service for someone to write an article of this kind.

> 

> Once again, if someone were to write such an article, She Ji would be eager to publish it. 

> 

> Yours,

> 

> Ken

> 

> Ken Friedman, Ph.D., D.Sc. (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. 

> The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji 

> University in Cooperation with Elsevier | URL: 

> http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economic

> s-and-innovation/ 

> <http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economi

> cs-and-innovation/>

> 

> Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and 

> Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| Email  

> [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> | 

> Academia http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman 

> <http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman> | D&I 

> http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn <http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn/>

> 

> 

> 

> 

> 

> 

> 

> --

> 

> Ken Friedman, Ph.D., D.Sc. (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. 

> The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Tongji 

> University in Cooperation with Elsevier | URL: 

> http://www.journals.elsevier.com/she-ji-the-journal-of-design-economic

> s-and-innovation/

> 

> Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and 

> Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| Email  

> [log in to unmask] | Academia 

> http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I 

> http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn

> 

> 

> 

> 

> 

> 

> 

> 

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