Discovering Design: Explorations in Design Studies

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Richard Buchanan, Victor Margolin
University of Chicago Press, Apr 15, 1995 - Art - 254 pages
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Discovering Design reflects the growing recognition that the design of the everyday world deserves attention not only as a professional practice but as a subject of social, cultural, and philosophic investigation. Victor Margolin, cofounder and an editor of the journal Design Issues, and Richard Buchanan, also an editor of the journal, bring together eleven essays by scholars in fields ranging from psychology, sociology, and political theory to technology studies, rhetoric, and philosophy. The essayists share the editors' concern, first made clear in Margolin's Design Discourse: History, Theory, Criticism, with the the development of design studies as a field of interdisciplinary research.

The contributors (Gianfranco Zaccai, Albert Borgmann, Richard Buchanan, Augusto Morello, Tufan Orel, Nigel Cross, Victor Margolin, Langdon Winner, Carl Mitcham, Tony Fry, and Ezio Manzini) focus on three broad themes that form a sequence of fundamental issues: how to shape design as a subject matter, how to distinguish the activity of designing in the complex world of action, and how to address the basic questions of value and responsibility that persistently arise in the discussion and practice of design. The editors' introduction provides a useful overview of these questions and offers a multidisciplinary framework for design studies. The essays discuss such topics as the relation of aesthetics to technology, the place of design in social action, the role of the consumer in design decisions, and the need for ethical practice in contemporary design. Manzini's concluding essay shows how the issue of ethics should connect responsible behavior to decisions made every day in the manufacture of objects.
 

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Contents

Art and Technology
5
The Depth of Design
15
Rhetoric Humanism and Design
25
The World of Action
69
Discovering Design Means ReDiscovering Users and Projects
71
Designing SelfDiagnostic SelfCure SelfEnhancing and SelfFashioning Devices
79
Discovering Design Ability
107
The Product Milieu and Social Action
123
Political Ergonomics
148
Values and Responsibilities
173
Ethics into Design
175
A Recreational Theory
192
The Ecology of the Artificial and the Designers Responsibility
221
Discovering Design A Conference Report
247
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About the author (1995)

Richard Buchanan is professor of design and head of the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University and is author of Discovering Design: Explorations in Design Studies (1995).

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