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Design Methods [Paperback]

John Chris Jones
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 15, 1992 0471284963 978-0471284963 2
Since its initial publication in 1970, Design Methods has been considered the seminal work on design methodology. Written by one of the founders of the design methods movement, it has been highly praised in international journals and has been translated into Japanese, Romanian, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. As Jones states in the preface: "Alongside the old idea of design as the drawing of objects that are then to be built or manufactured there are many new ideas of what it is, all very different:
* designing as the process of devising not individual products but whole systems or environments such as airports, transportation, hypermarkets, educational curricula, broadcasting schedules, welfare schemes, banking systems, computer networks;
* design as participation, the involvement of the public in the decision-making process;
* design as creativity, which is supposed to be potentially present in everyone;
* design as an educational discipline that unites arts and science and perhaps can go further than either;
* and now the idea of designing Without a Product, as a process or way of living in itself."
Design Methods first evaluates traditional methods such as design-by-drawing and shows how they do not adequately address the complexity of demands upon today's designer. The book then provides 35 new methods that have been developed to assist designers and planners to become more sensitive to user needs. These methods move beyond a focus on the product to the thought that precedes it. Throughout, the book's emphasis on integrating creative and rational skills directs readers away from narrow specialization to a broader view of design. The new methods are described and classified in a way that makes it easier for designers and planners to find a method that suits a particular design situation. They include logical procedures such as systematic search and systems engineering, data gathering procedures such as literature searching and the writing of questionnaires, innovative procedures such as brainstorming and synectic and system transformation, and evaluative procedures such as specification writing and the selection of criteria. Offering a wider view--accompanied by appropriate skills--than can be obtained from the teaching of any specialized design profession, Design Methods is important reading for designers and teachers in numerous fields. It will be welcomed by engineers, architects, planners, and landscape architects, as well as by interior, graphic, product, and industrial designers. This extraordinary book will provide key insights to software designers and numerous others outside traditional design professions who are nevertheless creatively involved in design processes. It is also relevant to the teaching of cultural studies, technology, and any kind of creative project.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Since its initial publication in 1970, Design Methods has been considered the seminal work on design methodology. Written by one of the founders of the design methods movement, it has been highly praised in international journals and has been translated into Japanese, Romanian, Polish, Russian, and Spanish. As Jones states in the preface: "Alongside the old idea of design as the drawing of objects that are then to be built or manufactured there are many new ideas of what it is, all very different:
  • designing as the process of devising not individual products but whole systems or environments such as airports, transportation, hypermarkets, educational curricula, broadcasting schedules, welfare schemes, banking systems, computer networks;
  • design as participation, the involvement of the public in the decision-making process;
  • design as creativity, which is supposed to be potentially present in everyone;
  • design as an educational discipline that unites arts and science and perhaps can go further than either;
  • and now the idea of designing Without a Product, as a process or way of living in itself."
Design Methods first evaluates traditional methods such as design-by-drawing and shows how they do not adequately address the complexity of demands upon today’s designer. The book then provides 35 new methods that have been developed to assist designers and planners to become more sensitive to user needs. These methods move beyond a focus on the product to the thought that precedes it. Throughout, the book’s emphasis on integrating creative and rational skills directs readers away from narrow specialization to a broader view of design. The new methods are described and classified in a way that makes it easier for designers and planners to find a method that suits a particular design situation. They include logical procedures such as systematic search and systems engineering, data gathering procedures such as literature searching and the writing of questionnaires, innovative procedures such as brainstorming and synectic and system transformation, and evaluative procedures such as specification writing and the selection of criteria. Offering a wider view—accompanied by appropriate skills—than can be obtained from the teaching of any specialized design profession, Design Methods is important reading for designers and teachers in numerous fields. It will be welcomed by engineers, architects, planners, and landscape architects, as well as by interior, graphic, product, and industrial designers. This extraordinary book will provide key insights to software designers and numerous others outside traditional design professions who are nevertheless creatively involved in design processes. It is also relevant to the teaching of cultural studies, technology, and any kind of creative project.

About the Author

About the Author John Chris Jones is best known as a founder of the design methods movement. The first professor of design at the Open University in London, he is also known for his work in ergonomics and futurology. In recent years, he has worked as a freelance lecturer and writer, independently adapting methods from the "time arts," including performance and video, to the design process. During his career, Jones has published over 200 articles. In addition, he has experimented with publishing through small presses and in new formats, such as microfilm, photocopies, and computer disks. Samples of his recent writing, what he calls virtual fiction, appear in the "imaginary preludes" to this edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 407 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (September 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471284963
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471284963
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,413,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipe book for designing in teams; a classic. February 17, 1999
Format:Paperback
Design Methods: seeds of human futures By John Chris Jones 1970,1980,1992
Architects, confronted in the 1950s and 1960s with design efforts involving many designers and many stakeholders, were forced to study their methods to make them more open to scrutiny and input at all stages. By the time "Design Methods" was published in 1970, architects, engineers, and industrial designers had begun to raise their perspective to include a much larger picture, ranging from the designer's internal processes all the way to planetary conditions. As a society, we were re-designing design. Many of the design methods which Jones presents in his "recipe book" grew from this design group work. Even today, best practice for design teams is largely developed from methods described almost thirty years ago in this book.
From the Introduction:
"Jones first became involved with design methods while working as an industrial designer for a manufacturer of large electrical products in Britain in the 1950s. He was frustrated with the superficiality of industrial design at the time and had become involved with ergonomics. When the results of his ergonomic studies of user behavior were not utilized by the firm's designers, Jones set about studying the design process being used by the engineers. To his surprise, and to theirs, Jones' analysis showed that the engineers had no way of incorporating rationally arrived at data early on in the design process when it was most needed. Jones then set to work redesigning the engineer's design process itself so that intuition and rationality could co-exist, rather than one excluding the other."
This cooperation of multiple faculties seems to be a consistent thread throughout his work.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic design guide May 22, 2003
Format:Paperback
Every designer should have a copy of this book.
slightly dated now - but still the classic guide to design process.
My copy keeps getting stolen - going to have to buy a new copy.
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