Human-Centered Design: Delimiting Wicked Problems with PRSM

By Barbara McFall and Cindy Beacham.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Human-centered Design has become a central tenet of many design disciplines and practices. The stated mission of such practice is creative change toward the goal of enhanced quality of living. While this sounds good in casual conversation, it can be difficult to implement, assess, and defend in practice. The problem is that human problems are complex and dynamic “wicked” problems (Rittel & Webber, 1973). To further complicate matters, the concept of quality of living has in general been poorly communicated beyond the academic cognoscenti. This article proposes a qualitative and quantitative structure, the Personal Resource System Model and Matrix (McFall, 1998), to (a) tame wicked human problems for rational assessment and (b) support human-centered design solutions to realize enhanced quality of living.

Keywords: Wicked Problems, Personal Resource Systems Management Model, PRSM, Quality of Living, Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.67-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.089MB).

Dr. Barbara McFall

Interim Director, Division of Design & Merchandising, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA

Barbara McFall is a Ph.D. in Human Science-Organizational Systems and is Interim Director of the Division of Design & Merchandising at West Virginia University. For further information on the Personal Resource Systems Matrix and Model (PRSM) see http://www.design.wvu under faculty McFall.

Dr. Cindy Beacham

Associate Professor, Program Chair, Interior Design & Design Studies, Division of Design & Merchandising, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA

Cindy Beacham is a Ph.D. in Child Development with a strong academic and professional background in interior design and project/construction management. Her specialty area is developmentally appropriate design for children, and she is an Associate Professor and Program Chair of Interior Design and Design Studies at West Virginia University.

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