Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Design Science

In Don Norman's recent book, The Design of Future Things, he mentions the concept "design science" and points out that design is an interdisciplinary field, which often combines, art, social science, engineering, and business. Engineering has more formal methods that aesthetic approaches tend to resist. Norman calls for a “science of design” because he feels that more rigor is needed in the intelligent systems he describes in his book.

The tradition in universities had been that art majors would take a foreign language instead of extra math courses and get a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) rather than a B.S. (Bachelor of Sciences). For anyone interested in design, it is important to also take additional science and math courses in order to design with the technical knowledge required in fields like architecture, product design and game design.

Schools are still trying to figure out the right balance of technical knowledge and aesthetic sensibilities necessary to produce the designers of our future. My guess is that traditional art programs need to err on the side of including more science, math and technology in their programs than we have in the past.

Click on the heading above to see more of what Don Norman says.

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