Poiesis & Praxis

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 303–314 | Cite as

Is informatics a design discipline?

Original Paper

Abstract

The article discusses the theory and practice of software development in the light of design theory. It tries to show that the design process cannot be forced into a predefined operational sequence. To underline this, the history of design methods is retraced, showing that such approaches were abolished not only in practice, but also the theory of design. The essay then discusses the cognitive framework of contemporary design theory and closes with the proposal that informatics should redefine itself as a design discipline in order to tackle the problems of interaction design.

Zusammenfassung

Der Text diskutiert die Theorie und Praxis der Softwareentwicklung im Lichte aktueller Designtheorie. Es wird zu zeigen versucht, dass sich der Designprozess der operationalen Formalisierung entzieht. Dazu wird die Geschichte der Designmethoden nachgezeichnet, die zeigt, dass solche Ansätze nicht nur in der Praxis, sondern auch in der Theorie gescheitert sind. Der Aufsatz diskutiert dann die kognitiven Rahmenbedingungen aktueller Designtheorien und schließt mit dem Vorschlag, dass sich die Informatik als Designdisziplin verstehen muss, um die Probleme des Interaktionsdesign wirklich lösen zu können.

Résumé

Ce texte s’interroge sur la théorie et la pratique du développement de logiciels à la lumière de la théorie de design actuelle. Il tente de montrer que le processus de design se soustrait à la formalisation opérationnelle. L’histoire des méthodes conceptuelles est par ailleurs retracée, qui montre que de telles démarches n’ont pas seulement échoué dans la pratique, mais aussi en théorie. L’article se penche sur les conditions cadres cognitives des théories de design d’aujourd’hui et s’achève sur la proposition selon laquelle l’informatique doit s’entendre comme discipline de design pour pouvoir véritablement résoudre les problèmes du design d’interaction.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Gestaltungs- und Wirkungsforschung der TU WienViennaAustria

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