PhD Philosophical Context of Design Research

This course surveys the major philosophies and theories that underpin design research through exposure to some of the most significant scholars and public intellectuals of the last 100 years.

Specifically, the following perspectives and traditions will be discussed: pragmatism, structuralism, activity theory, phenomenology, actor network theory, theories of culture and symbolic interaction. For example, what do these traditions offer the field of design and how might we advance these perspectives through design practice? How have these different philosophical traditions become embedded in current philosophies of design research and work?

Learning Objectives
Students will become familiar with key philosophical traditions in order to provide a strong basis for their individual research. Emphasis is placed on surveying different traditions in order to understand their strengths and weaknesses as well as their historical and current contributions to the field of design.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will become familiar with philosophical traditions from different disciplines in the social sciences
  • Students will develop their own perspective on the theoretical approach that they may pursue in their individual research
  • Students will gain exposure to leading scholars in the social sciences that have made some of the most significant philosophical contributions in the past 100 years
Managing Interdisciplinary Teams Design Connoisseurship Engaging Stakeholders in Innovation Special Topics Faculty Research Design Process and Knowledge Making the User Centered Case
Modeling Complexity Theories of Communication Fundamentals of Visual Communication Advanced Diagramming Metaphor and Analogy in Design Diagram Development Communication Strategies Communication Design Workshop
Extensions of Media and Technology Interactive Space Interaction Design for Embedded Systems Interaction Design for Immersive Systems Prototyping Interactions Persuasive Interaction Design History of Interaction Design Interaction Design Methods Digital Development Workshop Interaction Design Workshop
Planning + Strategy
Designing Futures Adaptive Leadership Strategies for Open Innovation Organizational Models for Innovation Social and Economic Context of Design New Venture Design Innovation Methods Planning Implementation Business Models and Value Webs Business Frameworks and Strategy Design Planning Workshop Introduction to Portfolio Planning
Design Development & Implementation Product Architecture and Platforms Form and Materials New Product Definition Product Design Workshop
Systems and Systems Theory in Design Networked Objects Networked Cities Human System Integration Systems Modeling and Prototyping Platform-based Design Strategy Systems Approach to Design Information Structuring and Management Structured Planning Workshop Service Systems Workshop
User Research
Stimulus in Design Research Behavioral Economics Online Research Methods Principles and Methods of User Research Coding and Analysis Co-Design and Participatory Research Methods Survey Methods Cultural Probes Experience Modeling Interview Methods Research Photography Research Planning & Execution