Drawing on Nickles: Design tasks in the light of the philosophical analysis of problems

University of New South Wales
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
ConnectED 2010: International Conference on Design Education at Sydney, 2010, pp. 1 - 5
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It is now approaching 30 years since the publication of Thomas Nickles classic paper `What is a problem that we may solve it? [1981]. While directed specifically at philosophy of science and epistemology, Nickles observations on and speculations about the nature of problems offer a particular and potentially informative vantage point for [re]viewing so-called design problems. Having previously declared my discomfort with the conventional `design = problem solving view of design activity, yet having elected, pro tem, to retain the problem/solution language frame in order more easily to demonstrate that conventional wisdom has misunderstood just what problem it is that the designer `solves [Harfield 2007a; 2007b], the current paper revisits the question of `what is a problem from a more fundamental level.
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