The Philosophy of Design is an introduction to the fundamental philosophical issues raised by the contemporary practice of design. The first book to systematically examine design from the perspective of contemporary philosophy, it offers a broad perspective, ranging across key philosophical areas such as aesthetics, epistemology, metaphysics and ethics.
The first part of the book explores central issues about the nature of design and its products, and the rationality of design methods. A central theme is that Modernist ideas, such as those offered by Loos and Gropius, provide important responses to these philosophical issues. In the second part of the book, these Modernist ideas serve as touchstones in the exploration of key issues for design, including: the place of aesthetics in design; designs relation to personal expression; the meaning of function; and designs relation to consumerism. The social responsibility of designers, and the impact of design practice on ethical reasoning are also discussed.
Written in an accessible style, The Philosophy of Design presents a new perspective on design and a provocative reassessment of the Modernist legacy. It will engage students and designers with current philosophical debates, helping them to bring into clearer focus the meaning of contemporary design, and its unique challenges and possibilities.