Four cultures of analysis in design research

Authored by: Ilpo Koskinen

The Routledge Companion to Design Research

Print publication date:  October  2014
Online publication date:  October  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415706070
eBook ISBN: 9781315758466
Adobe ISBN: 9781317636250


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Design research has gone through several phases over the last 60 years. The first serious attempts to lay design on scientific foundations took place in HfG Ulm, and slightly later in architectural programmes in the United States and at the Royal College of Art in London. Most key figures involved in these efforts had, however, given up hope of turning design into a science by the early 1970s. Tomas Maldonado called them immature; J. C. Jones told designers to turn to art; Christopher Alexander famously told designers to “forget the whole thing” (Maldonado 1984; Alexander 1971; Jones 1984). The disappointment to post-war optimistic dreams of building a rational society was part of the Zeitgeist of the late 1960s, and design could not escape it.

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