Science and Design: The Implications of Different Forms of Accountability

  • William Gaver


This chapter sets out to explicitly contrast scientific and design approaches to knowing. In both cases, practitioners create situations for people to engage, and the results may be of interest to the research community. Scientific researchers need to be able to defend the logic of each step of their process from hypothesis to test to theory. Design, in contrast, relies simply on the success of the artefacts it creates. This implies a great degree of methodological liberty, including the potential to create open-ended designs that occasion new and illuminating engagements with the world.


Design Space Scientific Method Scientific Hypothesis Probe Return Design Artefact 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This discussion is an updated version of keynote addresses delivered to DIS’00 and HCIC’10. The research was supported by European Research Council’s Advanced Investigator Award no. 226528, “ThirdWave HCI”. I am grateful to John Bowers, Eric Stolterman, Kirsten Boehner, Anne Schlottmann, Wendy Kellogg, Judy Olson and John Zimmerman for their comments on this chapter, though it must be admitted that few if any of them would fully agree with the result.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interaction Research Studio, GoldsmithsUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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