[Air-l] Research Request: Philosophy of Design

Andrew Wenn andrew.wenn at vu.edu.au
Sun Nov 27 14:02:44 PST 2005

Hi Ken,

There have been quite a few publications on this area. Some more  
general than others. Some of the philosophy of technology  
publications might give you what you want.

For journals try Techné at http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/ 
also see:
Berg, M. 1998, 'The Politics of Technology: On Bringing Social Theory  
into Technological Design', Science Technology and Human Values, vol.  
23(4), pp. 456-490.

Kupersmith, J. and Mitchell, B. A. 1998, 'You Are Here, but Where Is  
That?: Architectural Design Metaphors in the Electronic Library', in  
Finding Common Ground: Creating the Library of the Future without  
Diminishing the Library of the Past, ed. LaGuardia, C., Neal-Schuman,  
New York, NY, pp. 58-67.

Books by Don Ihde or Carl Mitchum

Bucciarelli, L. 1994, Designing Engineers, The MIT Press, Cambridge,  

Winograd, T. and Flores, F. 1987, Understanding Computers and  
Cognition: A New Foundation for Design, Addison-Wesley, Reading, M.A.

Misa, T. J., Brey, P. and Feenberg, A. (eds) 2003, Modernity and  
Technology, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

I am reading Veerbeek, P.-P. 2000(2005), What Things Do:  
Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency and Design, Crease,  
R. P. Trans., Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park,  
PA. at the moment and particularly enjoying it.

Andrew Wenn.

School of Information Systems
Victoria University
PO Box 14428
Melbourne Vic 8001
Have you seen my new edited book?

Hunter, M. G., Burgess, S. and Wenn, A. (eds) 2005, Small Business  
and Information Technology: Research Techniques and International  
Case Studies, Heidelberg Press, Melbourne.
email: andrew.wenn at vu.edu.au
web: http://homepage.mac.com/andrewwenn/

phone: +61 3 9919 4342
fax: +61 3 9919 5024

On 28/11/2005, at 7:38 AM, Ken Friedman wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
> This is a research request for articles and books on philosophy of  
> design.
> This includes articles and books in which philosophers discuss issues
> that can be applied to design process as well as articles and books
> in which designers and design researchers discuss or develop a
> philosophy of design.
> In this sense, I do not restrict the call to full-formed or
> comprehensive philosophies, but invite also propositions and
> heuristic probes.
> Please send suggestions and comments to me off-list at
> <ken.friedman at bi.no>
> I will compile all responses and post them to the list. The
> compilation will incorporate respoinses to an earlier research
> request posted to the list PhD-Design.
> Thank you.
> Ken Friedman
> Applicable definitions of the term, "philosophy" in "philosophy of  
> design":
> Merriam-Webster's (1990: 883) defines philosophy as:
> "2 a : pursuit of wisdom b : a search for a general understanding of
> values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational
> means c : an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing
> fundamental beliefs 3 a : a system of philosophical concepts <Kantian
> philosophy> b : a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity
> or thought <the philosophy of cooking> <philosophy of science> 4 a :
> the most general beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or
> group <the hippie philosophy>."
> The Oxford English Dictionary (2002: Unpaged) defines the relevant
> aspects of the word philosophy the same way:
> "1. a. (In the original and widest sense.) The love, study, or
> pursuit of wisdom, or of knowledge of things and their causes,
> whether theoretical or practical." To speak of a "philosophy of" is
> to discuss "The study of the general principles of some particular
> branch of knowledge, experience, or activity." OED cites this usage
> example, "Expressions like 'philosophy of science', 'philosophy of
> history', 'philosophy of government', 'philosophy of law',
> 'philosophy of religion', and so forth creep into the language,
> indicating that after scientists, historians, statesmen, jurists,
> priests, and the rest have said all they have to say, there is still
> need of a special kind of knowledge to inform us what it is all
> about."
> Webster's International Dictionary (1913: 1077) defines philosophy as
> "1. Literally, the love of, including the search after, wisdom; in
> actual usage, the knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and
> resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws. When applied to
> any particular department of knowledge, philosophy denotes the
> general laws or principles under which all the subordinate phenomena
> or facts relating to that subject are comprehended."
> References
> Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1990. Webster's Ninth New Collegiate
> Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts.
> OED. 2002. OED Online. Oxford English Dictionary. Ed. J. A. Simpson
> and E. S. C. Weiner. Second edition, 1989. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
> Oxford University Press. URL: http://dictionary.oed.com/ Date
> accessed: 2002 January 18, verified 2005 November 27.
> Webster's. 1913. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (G & C.
> Merriam Co., 1913, edited by Noah Porter). ARTFL (Project for
> American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language).
> Chicago: Divisions of the Humanities, University of Chicago. URL:
> http://humanities.uchicago.edu/orgs/ARTFL/forms_unrest/ 
> webster.form.html
> Date accessed: 2002 January 18, verified 2005 November 27.
> -- 
> Ken Friedman
> Professor of Leadership and Strategic Design
> Institute for Communication, Culture, and Language
> Norwegian School of Management
> Design Research Center
> Denmark's Design School
> email: ken.friedman at bi.no
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