Dewey: Understanding the Significance of Design Strategy

By Natalie Erika (Ebenreuter) Lehoux.

Published by The Design Collection

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

Designers often refer to the practise of design as being intrinsically chaotic, unstructured, iterative, and unpredictable (Conklin, 2006; Dorst, 2006). This is understandable, bearing in mind that design typically deals with invention and the unknown. However, when the act of designing is approached with an understanding that developing a response to a design situation is intimately connected with the success of the design outcome, a strategy for its creation holds significance (Rittel, 1972a). This is because the subject matter for design, created by the designer, is embedded in what is particular. In this paper I focus on two of Dewey’s key texts, Essays in experimental logic (Dewey, 1916) and Logic, the theory of inquiry (Dewey, 1938). I argue that these texts provide a basis for understanding the significance of design strategy, worthy of careful consideration. I discuss the value of the two texts with regard to other key figures in design literature to give context to the contribution Dewey’s work offers design.

Keywords: Design, Inquiry, Judgment, Practice, Strategy, Theory

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.31-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 759.135KB).

Dr. Natalie Erika (Ebenreuter) Lehoux

Interaction Designer, Applications Domain, User Experience Design Team, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France, Nozay, Ile de France, France

Natalie Ebenreuter is a Fulbright scholar who is currently working as an interaction designer at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France and as a lecturer in Interactive Media at Parsons Paris, School of Art and Design. Her experience includes lecturing in design at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design, Swinburne University of Technology’s Faculty of Design, Pittsburgh University’s Computer Science Department and Gobelins l’école de l’image. Natalie has also disseminated various aspects of her research through publications and presentations in Australia, The United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.


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