Research processes: Design processes: Design epistemologies and ontologies in design education.

DS 62: Proceedings of E&PDE 2010, the 12th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education - When Design Education and Design Research meet ..., Trondheim, Norway, 02.-03.09.2010

Year: 2010
Editor: Boks W; Ion, W; McMahon, C and Parkinson B
Author: Dowlen, Chris
Page(s): 538-543


It is advantageous for designers, researchers and educators to develop forms of knowledge maps to determine a multiplicity of processes. These knowledge maps, or epistemologies, can start to provide understanding of the centrality of the design process as a means of initiating change in man-made things [1] or of design as the driver for the wealth creation process, and therefore contrasting these processes from the essential process of the researcher, which is to seek to understand and describe behaviours: natural, human and so on. The paper will develop and describe a particular epistemology using a two-dimensional knowledge map approach similar to that used by Hall [2]. This map of design will be used also to describe the design educational process as carried out on most design courses, which is to produce design professionals, and look at the aims of this educational processes as students become designers – moving the theory from simply a map of knowledge to an embedded processes as they become designers: moving from simply knowing about design to becoming designers themselves. From epistemology to ontology. It will also investigate how this process takes place for researchers, using the design map to describe the research process as well as the design process. The comparison will indicate how significantly different the two processes are and ask the question of what sort of beings educators are trying to develop – design practitioners or design researchers – in the context of this fundamental difference.

Keywords: Design philosophy, epistemology, design research


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