Shifting to ‘Big Picture’ design? Discursive explorations of emerging design orientated towards social complexity.

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Date
2014
Department
Muotoilun laitos
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
87+34
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Abstract
Within contemporary design discussions there are descriptions of the adaption of traditional design principles in efforts dealing with ‘big picture’ systemic challenges (e.g. healthcare, education, and climate change). Consequently, it may be inferred that the meaning of “design” is expanding beyond previous conventions. This research project explores what is happening in this enigmatically emerging arena, where designers are operating amidst new levels of social complexity and within new domains of knowledge. This is an ambiguous and dynamically emerging space, therefore research is needed in order to document the outlooks of practitioners operating at its periphery. Using an applied discourse research strategy, based around the interpretive analytics of the Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse (SKAD), the project examines contemporary conceptions of the meaning of design, through the statements of expert speakers operating in and around the nexus of design, systems, and social knowledge domains. In doing so, the project provides insights into what is happening in this emerging space, how the meaning of design is being constituted and bound to the various outlooks of actors in the field. It also develops an original visualised mapping framework, applicable to meta explorations of the meanings associated with the term design. The project’s conclusions highlight, position, and reflect on where things currently stand in this emerging design arena, based on interpreted findings around design efforts driven by major societal shifts towards complexity and intangibility. The recommendations highlights possibilities for further research into the emerging role of design integrating systems and soft human science knowledge in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary design related spaces.
Description
Supervisor
Nousala, Susu
Thesis advisor
n/a, n/a
Keywords
social systems design thinking, design 3.0 & 4.0, design discourse, emerging practice, transformational design, transdisciplinary
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