Carnegie Mellon University, Spring 2007
Mark D Gross, Shaw (Computer Science), Finger (Civil Engg), Herbsleb (Software Engg)
Graduate course to prepare PhD students to understand how to conduct design research.
Why it is worth understanding design processes (the argument for “research in design”)?
Design spaces: design process as exploring a multi-dimensional space, bounded by constraints, to optimize an objective function; “classical” engineering model of design, Pareto-optimality, design when you don’t know a-priori the objective function; sparse spaces, adding dimensions to the design space during designing. Design-as-search.
Design decisions are coupled. Identifying relationships between design decisions (e.g., adjacency matrix to represent dependencies); clustering to identify closely-coupled decisions.
Dealing with other designers: You are not alone. Hierarchies of control in design: design as a social negotiated act over time. Designers control different levels of a design; relationships among the levels; “dominance” and capacity testing.
Design for change: What you design today may be around in ten, twenty, thirty years. How to design for evolutionary lifecycle change?
Pattern Language – from Alexander to the Gang of Four — how to turn observed relationships between design and effect into a structured representation that can be applied in future designs. Representing knowledge about a specific design domain.
Participatory design – involving end-users and other stakeholders in design processes.
End-user designing: recognizing that end-users want and need to extend designs – seeing end users as designers too (relates to “hierarchies of control”); how to provide end-users with simple and powerful means to work within systems to extend them.
Problem-seeking; identifying the problem is part of design: “system-analysis”; eliciting requirements; setting specifications.
Design rationale; accounting for design decisions; structuring representations of design alternatives, from IBIS to hypertext; “design knowledge management”: design as argument.
Representations for designs: Representations for quickly exploring and comparing alternative designs. Sketching and prototyping during early design;
class participation in discussion.
familiarity with approaches in design research