Design Theory

Sample Syllabus

Design Theory Syllabus  – Spring 2017

Textbooks I Use/Have Used

The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World (2nd ed.), by Harold G. Nelson and Erik Stolterman

The Shape of Things: A Philosophy of Design, by Vilém Flusser

Other Readings

  • Banathy, B. H. (1996). Designing social systems in a changing world. New York, NY: Spring Science+Business Media. (Chapter 2, pp. 11-47)
  • Bayazit, N. (2004). Investigating design: A review of forty years of design research. Design Issues, 20(1), 16-29.
  • Belland, J. C. (1991). Developing connoisseurship in educational technology. In D. Hlynka & J. C. Belland (Eds.), Paradigms regained: The uses of illuminative, semiotic and post-modern criticism as modes of inquiry in educational technology (pp. 23-35). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
  • Brown, T. (2008). Design thinking. Harvard Business Review, 86(6), 84-92.
  • Cross, N. (1982). Designerly ways of knowing. Design Studies, 3(4), 221-227.
  • Cross, N. (2001). Designerly ways of knowing: Design discipline versus design science. Design Issues, 17(3), 49-55.
  • Dunne, J. (1993). Back to the rough ground: ‘Phronesis’ and ‘techne’ in modern philosophy and in Aristotle. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. (Epilogue, pp. 357-382)
  • Dunne, J. (1999). Professional judgment and the predicaments of practice. Eurpoean Journal of Marketing, 33(7/8), 707-720.
  • Institute of Design at Stanford (n.d.). An introduction to design thinking: Process guide. Retrieved from
  • Kimbell, L. (2011). Rethinking design thinking: Part I. Design and Culture, 3(3), 285-306. doi:10.2752/175470811X13071166525216
  • Krippendorff, K. (2006). The semantic turn: A new foundation for design. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. (Chapter 2, pp. 39-75)
  • Lawson, B., & Dorst, K. (2009). Design expertise. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Ltd. (Chapter 3, pp. 81-112)
  • Norman, D. A., & Verganti, R. (2014). Incremental and radical innovation: Design research vs. Technology and meaning change. Design Issues, 30(1), 78-96.
  • Owen, C. L. (2005). Design thinking. What it is. Why it is different. Where it has new value. Paper presented at the the International Conference on Design Research and Education for the Future.
  • Parrish, P. (2012). What does a connoisseur connaît? Lessons for appreciating learning experiences. In S. B. Fee & B. R. Belland (Eds.), The role of criticism in understanding problem solving: Honoring the work of John C. Belland (pp. 43-53). New York: Springer.
  • Protzen, J.-P., & Harris, D. J. (2010). The universe of design: Horst Rittel’s theories of design and planning. New York, NY: Routledge. (Chapters 1.10 – 1.11, pp. 107-134)
  • Schön, D. A. (1987). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. Basic Books, Inc. (Chapter 3, pp. 76-104)
  • Simon, H. A. (1996). The sciences of the artificial (3rd ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Chapter 5, pp. 111-138)
  • Stolterman, E. (2016). Some thoughts about the problematic term “design thinking.” Retrieved from
  • Verganti, R. (2008). Design, meanings, and radical innovation: A metamodel and a research agenda. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 25(5), 436-456. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5885.2008.00313.x
  • Wilson, B. G. (2013). A practice-centered approach to instructional design. In J. M. Spector, B. B. Lockee, S. E. Smaldino, & M. Herring (Eds.), Learning, problem solving, and mind tools: Essays in honor of David H. Jonassen (pp. 35-54). New York, NY: Routledge.