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The Sciences of Design: Observations on an Emerging Field

33 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2008  

Sandeep Purao

Bentley University

Carliss Y. Baldwin

Harvard Business School, Finance Unit

Alan Hevner

University of South Florida - College of Business Administration

Veda C. Storey

Georgia State University

Jan Pries-Heje

Roskilde University

Brian Smith

Pennsylvania State University

Ying Zhu

Georgia State University

Date Written: October 9, 2008

Abstract

The boundaries and contours of design sciences continue to undergo definition and refinement. In many ways, the sciences of design defy disciplinary characterization. They demand multiple epistemologies, theoretical orientations (e.g. construction, analysis or intervention) and value considerations. As our understanding of this emerging field of study grows, we become aware that the sciences of design require a systemic perspective that spans disciplinary boundaries. The Doctoral Consortium at the Design Science Research Conference in Information Sciences and Technology (DESRIST) was an important milepost in their evolution. It provided a forum where students and leading researchers in the design sciences challenged one another to tackle topics and concerns that are similar across different disciplines. This paper reports on the consortium outcomes and insights from mentors who took part in it. We develop a set of observations to guide the evolution of the sciences of design. It is our intent that the observations will be beneficial, not only for IS researchers, but also for colleagues in allied disciplines who are already contributing to shaping the sciences of design.

Keywords: Design research, sciences of design, design as science, discipline, body of knowledge, system of professions

Suggested Citation

Purao, Sandeep and Baldwin, Carliss Y. and Hevner, Alan and Storey, Veda C. and Pries-Heje, Jan and Smith, Brian and Zhu, Ying, The Sciences of Design: Observations on an Emerging Field (October 9, 2008). Harvard Business School Finance Working Paper No. 09-056. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1281643 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1281643

Sandeep Purao

Bentley University ( email )

175 Forest St
Waltham, MA 02452
United States

Carliss Y. Baldwin (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School, Finance Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States

Alan Hevner

University of South Florida - College of Business Administration ( email )

4202 E. Fowler Avenue, BSN 3403
Tampa, FL 33620-5500
United States
813-974-6753 (Phone)

Veda C. Storey

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Jan Pries-Heje

Roskilde University ( email )

Universitetsvej 1
P.O. Box 260
Roskilde, DK-4000
Denmark

Brian Smith

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

308 armsby
university park, PA 16802
United States

Ying Zhu

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad Street
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

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