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The social production of design space

Van Amstel, F.M.C; Hartmann, T; Voort, M. van der and Dewulf, G.P.M.R. The social production of design space, Design Studies, 46, 2016, p. 199–225. DOI:


Abstract: The production of design space refers to the activity of an individual or a group of individuals considering alternatives and possibilities for a design brief. Design studies often consider constraints to be a major determinant of design space, yet this paper introduces the notion of contradiction to underscore a dialectical determination of design space. The intention here is to characterise the production of design space as a socio-material rather than a cognitive process. This is accomplished through an in-depth look at a medical imaging centre project and an experiment with design students about the same project. In comparison to the original project, the students’ activity reproduced the same contradictions faced by practitioners.

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Supplementary material

Contradictions found in the medical imaging center study. This map corresponds to the complete version of Figure 3 included in the paper.

Categories: Journal publications.

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