Developing design as a discipline

Cross, Nigel (2018). Developing design as a discipline. Journal of Engineering Design, 29(12) pp. 691–708.



This is an invited paper reviewing my personal design research history, covering 50 years of involvement since the mid-1960s. The focus of my research has shifted over time, from computer-aided design and design methodology to design epistemology and design cognition. In CAD I assessed its effectiveness and implications for design professions, and how AI research in design might inform understanding of design cognition. In design methodology, I developed a model that integrates procedural aspects of design process with structural aspects of design problems. In design epistemology, I developed concepts of designerly ways of knowing and design as a discipline. In design cognition, I conducted protocol studies of design activity and studied design expertise, and developed the concept of the co-evolution of problem and solution. A general progression in the work has been from aiding and supporting design practice towards more fundamental understanding of design as a discipline.

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