the basic PARADOX

- foundations for a groundless discipline



The basic PARADOX project is an experiment aiming at the topology / topography of design foundations. Do we discover the terrain, or do we develop the terrain. Or do we design it?

A selection of more or less known people from the field (German and international) were invited to submit contributions regarding these questions. See the exposé.

Some rules were set in order to structure and orientate the process. Also to avoid real or imaginary problems of superiority / dominance or inferiority as experienced e.g. in the DRS or PhD lists.


Rules of the Game


The state of affairs (23 January 2003)

> invited: 51 people (no reply: 8, negative reply: 10, positive reply: 33)

> texts delivered: 27 (see below)

> texts not (yet) delivered: 6


Phase 1 of the project, submission of texts, is finished.

We are in phase 2: associations and feedback.


Wolfgang Jonas (23.01.2003)


Texte / texts:


Holger van den Boom Grundlagen?

English version: Foundations?


Rosan Chow: Design + Knowledge Destruction A Fringe View on the Relation between Design and Knowledge

Deutsche Version: Design + die Zerstörung von Wissen: Ein Seitenblick / anderer Blick auf die Beziehung von Design und Wissen


Michael Erlhoff Reliefpfeiler - Prolegomena zu einer Entwicklung spekulativer Legenden zum Design

English version: Tuxedo Junctions - or: Shoot the Attitudes of Knowledge to the Moon


Ken Friedman Problem and Paradox in Foundations of Design

Deutsche Version: Problem und Paradox bei den Grundlagen des Designs


Ranulph Glanville Researching Design and Designing Research

Deutsche Version: Das Erforschen des Entwerfens und das Entwerfen der Forschung


Matthias Götz Wer hat Angst vor Para Doxen? Abgründe des Design und das Design von Gründen. Zehn Anläufe

English version: Who is Afraid of Para Doxen? Abysses and the Design of Causes. Ten Warm-Ups


Gülay Hasdogan Desired Qualities of Design Knowledge


John Christopher Jones designing as people (jcj is asking for participation!)


Fatma Korkut A Fundamental Assignment: "Hammering with a Hammer"

Comment Ken Friedman (03.01.2002): Fatma Korkut's essay is a lovely poem on her feelings about design, but it has little to do with the question of a basis or foundation for design. One reason that the piece is difficult to understand in relation to basic questions is the problematic treatment of the philosophical issues Korkut raises. It is the author's responsibility to explain the use and application of ideas and material from external sources. The use -- or failure to use -- Lakoff and Johnson is an example. I have their book. I've read Korkut now a dozen times, and re-read Lakoff and Johnson. I don't see how Korkut intends to use them, or how the cited pages apply to Korkut's point. But it is not up to me to apply Lakoff and Johnson's ideas to Korkut's note: It is for Korkut to explain the relevant issues explicitly, applying them to her paper as she does so. In the note as it stands now, the connection is weak.


Maren Lehmann Die Ironie der Form

English version: The Irony of Form


Franz Liebl Do Placebo Products Dream of Electric Sheep? Annäherungen an "Strategisches Design"

English version: Do Placebo Products Dream of Electric Sheep? Approaching "Strategic Design"


Uwe von Loh Die Form des Designs

English version: The Form of Design


Terence Love Learning from the Design-Science Paradox: New Foundations for a Field of Design

Deutsche Version: Vom Design - Wissenschafts Paradox lernen: Neue Grundlagen für das Gebiet des Designs


Victor Margolin The Designer as Producer


Siegfried Maser Denken und Handeln vom Kalkül zum Fraktal

English version: Thought and Action from Axiomatic Calculus to Fractal


Jan Meyer-Veden Strampeln - Strampeln - Strampeln! Ein froschgeleiteter Versuch zur Gewinnung von Boden unter den Füßen

English version: Struggle - Struggle - Struggle! A Froggy Attempt to Create Stable Ground


C. Thomas Mitchell Differing Views of Design Interaction

Deutsche Version: Unterschiedliche Sichtweisen von Design Interaktion


Mihai Nadin Wir sind was wir tun

English version: We Are What We Do


Harold Nelson Design Capacity - A Basis of Human Activity

Deutsche Version: Die Fähigkeit zum Entwerfen - eine Grundlage menschlichen Handelns


Horst Oehlke Design - ein weites Feld. Auf ungeraden Wegen von Ansichten zu Einsichten

English version: Design - a Broad Field. On Odd Ways from Views to Insights


Wolf Reuter Wissen im Design

English version: Knowledge in Design


Keith Russell Paradox and Poetics: Speaking to the Sticky Side of Design

Deutsche Version: Paradox und Poetik: Wie man mit der klebrigen Seite des Design spricht


Daniel Scheidgen Grundlagen durch Aktion und Reaktion

English version: Foundations Through Action and Reaction


Jean Schneider Tapas variadas

Deutsche Version: Tapas variadas


Hermann Sturm Design Grundlagen: ein Lightning Field

English version: The fundamental principles of design as a Lightning Field

Kommentar Michael Erlhoff (20.11.2001): Zu Sturm fällt mir ad hoc bloß ein, daß man solche trostlosen Formulierungen wie "Sumpf trockenlegen" einfach lassen sollte und dergleichen.


Susann Vihma Design Semantics and Aesthetics

Deutsche Version: Design Semantik und Ästhetik


Artemis Yagou Design as Network of Identities




Wolfgang Jonas:

(1) On the Foundations of a "Science of the Artificial"

(2) The paradox endeavour to design a foundation for a groundless field