CHAIR OF ARCHITECTURE
AND URBAN DESIGN —

PROF. KEES CHRISTIAANSE

ETH Zurich – Institute for Urban Design
ONA G41 – Neunbrunnenstrasse 50 – 8093 Zurich
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DESIGN RESEARCH


 

 

Design as Qualitative-Heuristic (Thought) Experiment

Following Donald Schöns and Henrik Gedenryds theoretical paths, designing can be conceptualized as a use-test-entity that has a productive and an inquiring dimension. On the one hand, it projects contingent possibilites to illustrate differences to actual reality. Therefore, designing can be understood as a tool for producing (new) recources in order to achieve the projected difference. On the other hand, designing can be seen as an inquiring qualitative-heuristic (thought) experiment that investigates the qualities of actual reality. By relating these two dimensions with the different interdependent aspects of the design process, the design process can be extended beyond the mere creative act to a more extensive formation of thought. Through this theoretical recombination, the work of the designer can be better connected to other intellectual virtues. This investigation is based on findings that have been collected via the specific potentials of the (urban) design during the previous course of research of the „Swiss National Research Programme 65: New Urban Qualities“. The findings are rooted in reflections on the design courses, in interviews with practicing actors and in transdisciplinary workshops.

 

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Contact Simon Kretz