Information Systems Education Journal

Volume 15

V15 N6 Pages 62-71

June 2017

Grounding IS Design Education in the First Principles of a Designerly Way of Knowing

Leslie Waguespack
Bentley University
Waltham, MA 02452, USA

Jeffry Babb
West Texas A&M University
Canyon, TX 79016, USA

Abstract: “The Golden Age of Design may finally be upon us!” or so reported the New York Times in September of 2014. On the one hand everyday personal information appliances emphasized beauty and function. Apple™ took a lead by marketing the “feeling” of the iPod’s design. The business world took notice and the cachet of designers soared both in terms of demand and compensation. Regrettably, the “golden age of design” has not swept the Information Systems (IS) discipline along with it. News stories weekly report huge project cost overruns, long delayed delivery dates, and complete project failures with irretrievable sunk costs. What explains the difference? Perhaps IS has not yet embraced the design mindset founded in professions prefixed by: architectural, fashion, industrial, graphic, product, urban, and interior. We examine the mindset of design professionals all but absent in IS education. This mindset fuels the enthusiasm for agile development methodologies. Appropriating it may be a relatively inexpensive re-centering of current IS pedagogy that can pay huge dividends for society down the road as information systems grow more and more essential throughout the commercial and private sectors. We explore this design mindset following Nigel Cross’s retrospective on research in Designerly Ways of Knowing. With that as a frame we name five core elements of that mindset to frame IS pedagogy for design – First Principles of a Designerly Way of Knowing and propose guidelines for situating them in IS education.

Keywords: design pedagogy, design theory, first principles of design, IS design education, tacit knowing

Download this article: ISEDJ - V15 N6 Page 62.pdf

Recommended Citation: Waguespack, L., Babb, J. (2017). Grounding IS Design Education in the First Principles of a Designerly Way of Knowing. Information Systems Education Journal, 15(6) pp 62-71. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIG 2016)