Design as Open-Ended Inquiry


H. Allert, C. Richter - Design as Open-Ended Inquiry - Creativity and Innovation Competencies on the Web - How does the "new" emerge with the support of Web Technologies, Steyr, Österreich, 2011, pp. 13


While it seems quite obvious that collaborative design is a creative process, its relation to knowledge creation is far less obvious and indeed not trivial. Design as knowledge creation is a pedagogical model which aims at creating knowledge in design processes rather than solely designing and implementing products. Roughly speaking, design as knowledge creation entails at least the following elements: 1) creation of a local theory of the problem at stake, 2) deriving a working hypotheses (the designed product or services) that might overcome the problem in line with the local theory, and 3) evaluation of the developmental aspects of use and viability of the proposed solution. The designed product and service working as a hypothesis also serves as a means to explore the problem and design space more deeply, creating a refined working theory. This paper provides an understanding of design as knowledge creation and defines a pedagogical model for design education. Its implementation is shown in a scenario.



  • Dr. Prof. FH Heidrun Allert
  • Dipl. Psych. Christoph Richter