The course aims at a critical understanding of the ontological (what is design) and the epistemological (how to design) problem of design. Different approaches, definitions and descriptions are examined regarding the nature and conduct of the design process, as well as the differences of design with other sciences, but also with art and craft. Different approaches to the concepts of functionality, aesthetics and symbolism, ethics and mediation, are examined and analyzed as the four main dimensions of design, on the basis of the degree of the realization of the design process according to the different various theoretical and methodological approaches.
Approaches to the ontological problem of design - what is design
- Design definitions
- The relationship between design and art
- The relationship between design and craft
- The relationship between design and science
Approaches to the epistemological problem of design - how design is done
- Modernist vs post-modernist approach
- The role of theory in design
- Critical comparison of design theories & methodologies
- Functionality in design
The concept of function in the design process
- The intentional account of function
- The evolutionary / etiological account of function
- Advantages and disadvantages of the above approaches
- The role of functionality in the concepts of novelty / innovation
Aesthetics and symbolism in design
Ethics in design
Upon successful completion of the course, students are able to:
- Understand and be critically analytic with respect to the ontological problem of the design process (what is design) by understanding the different aspects of the concept of design as well as their compatibility and differences.
- Understand and be critically analytic on the epistemological problem of the design process (how design is done) by acknowledging the principles and practical implications of different theoretical and methodological approaches to the design process, as well as their compatibility and differences.
- Understand the concept and notion of functionality in design.
- Understand the notions and concepts of aesthetics and symbolism / expression in design.
- Understand the concept of mediation and ethics in design.
- Parsons, G. (2015). The philosophy of design. Hobken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Preston, B. (2013). A philosophy of material culture: Action, function, and mind. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Houkes, W., & Vermaas, P. (2010). Technical functions: On the use and design of artefacts. Dordrecht: Springer.
- Vermaas, P. E., & Vial, S. (2018). Advancements in the philosophy of design. Cham: Springer.