Designing Epistemology by Theodore E Krueger III

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This is a personal account of a design practice considered from a first-person perspective. I review several decades of design activity in order to better understand my own philosophical trajectory. I form an understanding of my own design practice in virtue of the conceptual frameworks forged in the design activities investigated. The process is therefore entirely recursive, and is a design activity in itself. Its principle value has been to give me a much deeper understanding of the dynamics of a design practice focusing on the designer and his ways of thinking rather than on the work. I come to understand that a designer’s frameworks determine much of what can be understood, that frameworks are implicated in the problem itself. I propose that designers first uncover the tacit frameworks that guide their practices through an examination of the failures, surprises or unexpected results that occur in work guided by them. Designers might learn to set aside their frameworks when they no longer serve. I call this process ‘Anamnesis and Amnesia’: first remember and then forget. I believe that this view has had great value to my practice of teaching design. I offer it to others in the hope that they may find similar value in this strategy, or to be inspired to undertake a journey of their own.

Year: 2011
Examiners: Professor Michael J Ostwald, A/Professor Shiqiao Li, Professor Tom Barker   Supervisors: Professor Leon van Schaik, Dr Ranulph Glanville


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