Tuesday, August 13, 2013
"How System Designers Think About Design and Methods"
In 1991 I defended my PhD dissertation. The dissertation was in Swedish. In those days we (or at least I) did not write many papers or articles, we focused on the dissertation, and I did not really publish anything from my dissertation in English,. However, I published one article in the Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems (1991) with the title "How system designers think about design and methods--some reflections based on an interview study".
I have not seen this article in years and recently I realized I do not even have a copy. My colleague Jeff Bardzell has in some mysterious way been able to find it (the reasons for why he did this are for another post). He just sent me a pdf version of the article. Thanks Jeff!
[I just got a message from my old friend and colleague Peter Axel Nielsen that all SJIS articles are available online, and so is mine...so I have changed the link. Thanks Peter Axel!]
I am quite sure I have not read the article since 1991. As usual when you read something you wrote a long time ago you have different revelations. I realized that I am still working on and with the same ideas today as back then. I realized that I completely agree with myself. This can be seen as seriously sad or perhaps something good, I am not sure. I also realized that the article fits perfectly into the ongoing NSF project I am currently working on. It can be added to the papers we are writing today without any changes.
So, what about intellectual development and growth? Has nothing happened with me since then? Well, even if I still like the article, I can see what appears to be small changes in how I think. Reading myself, it is clear that my work today is grounded in a different way, and that it is connected to a much broader net of knowledge. At the same time, I can also see the optimism in the early writing, the lack of respect for big questions or for authorities or for the complexities of reality. Anyway, interesting reflections at least for me :-)
If you are working on anything related to design practice, design methods, etc. you should read the article. You can find it here.
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