towards a unified theory of design?

Jörg Henseler, Jelle van Dijk, Caroline Hummels, Mikael Wiberg, Ann light, Geke Ludden

University of Twente (2), Eindhoven University of Technology, Umeå University, University of Sussex, University of Twente


Keywords: design theory; design research; methodology; emergence

Conversation Overview

This conversation originates from a behavioural researcher’s genuine expression of surprise of not finding a dominant theory of design or anything close to it. There is an ongoing debate on how design research is (or should be?) different from related sciences. For example the recently established Journal of Design Science aims to "facilitate communication across diverse fields and serve as a bridge [between] scholars from a diversity of disciplines". This shows the felt urgency to bring together knowledge from multiple disciplines. However, a unified theory has not (yet) emerged. Can we indeed unify multidisciplinary knowledge into one theory? Should we? We invite the audience to join our catalysts in our conversation, both physically and virtually online.  

This conversation is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

download conversation Proposal (PDF). No Report is available.  

This conversation took place on Wednesday 29th June at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme


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