Drawing on methods and literature from the field of philosophy, an account is given of the general nature of the artefact production process in order to provide a conceptual platform for design research. Designing itself is defined as the production of design representations; and the latter notion is analysed in the context of the artefact production process. The analysis is conducted in such a way as to keep the assumptions on which it is based explicit, plausible, and acceptable to common sense. The ‘obvious’ view of design representations as descriptions of possible or future things is rejected, and so the major philosophical difficulty is to propose a reasonably precise definition of ‘design representation’ without implying the existence of such non-existent things. To overcome that difficulty, a definition is developed in terms of human agents, their actions and ideas (including intentions). The paper closes with a summary of the assumptions made.
|Publication status||Published - 1999|