Addressing use as design: A comparison of constructivist design approaches

  • Bredies K
  • Chow R
  • Joost G
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Although there is often no straightforward relationship between theory and practice in design, it is necessary to articulate their mutual impact more clearly. Drawing on Wolfgang Jonas' generic model of design, a complete design process involves three domains of knowledge; namely analysis, projection and synthesis. For analysis, designers have adopted many methods from other disciplines, but it is not always obvious how they affect projection and synthesis.This is also the case when adopting a constructivist approach to design. Considering the 'applicability gap' between design analysis and projection, we are interested in how design practitioners deal with the increased uncertainty inherent in constructivism. To investigate the underlying assumptions about meaning construction, we compare four different design approaches, namely Participatory Design, Critical Design, Non-Intentional Design and Human-Centred Design. From the basic assumptions of each approach, we draw conclusions about how it addresses participation in design and anticipation of use. Our main proposition is that a constructivist perspective in designing requires designers to address 'use as design' more explicitly.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Anticipation
  • Human-centred design
  • Methods
  • Use

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  • Katharina Bredies

  • Rosan Chow

  • Gesche Joost

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