Designerly Ways of Knowing

  • Nigel Cross

About this book


The concept of ‘designerly ways of knowing’ emerged in the late 1970s in association with the development of new approaches in design education. Professor Nigel Cross first clearly articulated this concept in a paper called ‘Designerly Ways of Knowing’ which was published in the journal Design Studies in 1982. Since then, the field of study has grown considerably, as both design education and design research have developed together into a new discipline of design. This book provides a unique insight into a field of study with important implications for design research, education and practice.

Professor Nigel Cross is one of the most internationally-respected design researchers and this book is a revised and edited collection of key parts of his published work from the last quarter century. Designerly Ways of Knowing traces the development of a research interest in articulating and understanding the nature of design cognition, and the concept that designers (whether architects, engineers, product designers, etc.) have and use particular ‘designerly’ ways of knowing and thinking. There are chapters covering the following topics:

  • the nature and nurture of design ability;
  • creative cognition in design;
  • the natural intelligence of design;
  • design discipline versus design science; and,
  • expertise in design.

As a timeline of scholarship and research, and a resource for understanding how designers think and work, Designerly Ways of Knowing will be of interest to researchers, teachers and students of design; design practitioners and design managers.


Design Studies Design science creative cognition design design ability design cognition design education design research journal product design

Authors and affiliations

  • Nigel Cross
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Design and Innovation Faculty of TechnologyThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

Bibliographic information