Designerly way of Knowing

A Design Approach

Scientific Essay, 2013

7 Pages





Ways of Knowing in design


A Whole system Approach of Design Knowing



The study is to show the various designerly ways of knowing, to call attention to what might be overlooked as significant forms of design thinking, and to understand and take advantage of the methods that designers use to gain knowledge. The aspects explored are the ways designer’s think and the ways they know, there has been an investigation made for the various approaches. The anticipated goal of this paper is to create a different whole system approach of design knowing. The findings may be useful in understanding how designers gain knowledge.


Designer tend to say things differently, designers in general are known to produce their designs, make sketches and other representations to demonstrate and promote their ideas (Henderson 1991, Eckert and Boujut 2003), the real act of designing is in the ability of the designer to attract people, technologies and other objects together so as to develop a situation and future that works as the designer put it.

This paper traces the development of my personal research. Initially the research did not have a clear goal of what I wanted to achieve. The key insight was to develop a discipline of designerly way of knowing which would articulate the nature of design thinking, activity and behavior. I build up a network of arguments for the designerly way of Knowing.

In the same way, good designer’s ways of thinking express their ideas what makes an environment work. Such a way of thinking is beyond finding solutions to a particular design problem.

The Initial aim of the designerly way of knowing as I understood was the theoretical basis for treating design as a coherent discipline in studies. Initially in the 60s there were two cultures which were prevalent:

The study of Science

The study of Humanities.

The third which developed was the design culture. We see that the main concern of design is the realization of the new thing. Design encompasses the appreciation to materials and application of art, planning and innovation. Designers have their own way to know them and find more about them. To understand designerly way of knowing we would first differentiate it with the two disciplines as per Nigel cross.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

I think of designing as ‘human purposeful activity’ (Checkland and Poulter 2006) aimed at ‘initiating change in artificial things (Jones 1992).


Excerpt out of 7 pages


Designerly way of Knowing
A Design Approach
University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
407 KB
Design Thinking, design, Designerly way of knowing
Quote paper
Manish Abraham (Author), 2013, Designerly way of Knowing, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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