Projection before Analysis

By Rosan Chow.

Published by The Design Collection

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

Within and without the field of Design, there is an assumption that we need to understand a context before we can design. The majority of design models, linear, iterative or circular, often begin with analyzing a context before design proposals are made. We will, however, call into question this assumption and its practice.

We will argue that having a context does not guarantee design proposals as there is what Wolfgang Jonas calls ‘causality gap’. Besides, an introduction of a new design will change the context in which it is a part and therefore, context can never be fully be described. We will suggest that designing can be a way of constructing (non-existing) design-cum-context. Our suggestion is in line with the idea of design being a learning process. A design project, therefore in principle, can begin with projection instead of analysis. We will end by suggesting potential practices in this direction.

Keywords: Projection, Analysis, Design Process

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.341-346. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.197MB).

Dr. Rosan Chow

Research Scientist, Design Research Lab, Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Rosan is a research scientist at the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories at TU Berlin. She holds a Bachelor and a Masters Degree in Communication Design and a Ph.D in Designwissenschaft. She has studied, practised and sessionally taught design in Canada, United States and Germany. She is a research fellow at the Communication Research Institute in Australia and the project manger of the newly established Design Research Network ( Her research focuses on design theory and design research methodology.


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