I read Cross as focusing on the cognitive (intellectual? reflective?) process of a designer, and the design practice itself (“problem-solving”?), while Löwgren and Stolterman providing a holistic perspective of designer, and how to become a good designer (all the necessary and specific abilities, how to get these abilities, etc.). Perhaps I’m wrong, feel free to correct me if so.

Personally, I feel in Cross’ piece, designers are expected to be rational, intellectual and functional: Collect relevant information, identify appropriate problem space, match problem-solution pair, generate solution using flexible process strategy. It seems that designing is a mainly cognitive activity in which designers use their reason to seek, organize, evaluate, select and filter information, and come out a solution which can solve the defined problem. In this process, designers sound mainly depending on their internal cognition to create, although they may use external resources (users, contexts, etc.) to gather useful background information. Thinking of our discussion of author and authorship, is such a designer author? What type of author he/she is? At first I was thinking about the chef cartoon. But in this case, a designer needs to find the needed ingredients by himself/herself. There are no existing recipe even ingredients he/she can use – they have to use their intelligence to find raw resources and make their own.

For Löwgren and Stolterman’s piece, I almost feel it is an educational literature/guideline to teach you how to become a good designer, because “the designer is at the core of design”. They treat designer as both a profession and a human being, who have the “functional, structural, ethical and aesthetic” abilities to compose a design that can fulfill and possibly surpass users’ functional, structural, ethical and aesthetic demands. These abilities are not merely cognitive abilities, and designing is not just a cognitive process (e.g. “diverse social and psychological traits have a strong impact on what will happen”), although they do suggest “design-as-knowledge-construction”. Similar to Cross, they also think that “to design something is to create something not yet existing”, but they use an interesting word “composition” – “In a composition ideas are given from and brought together with what already exists”. If the designer is a chef, it seems he/she can still use the existing raw materials or ingredients, but compose them together in a new way. Since Löwgren and Stolterman also emphasize the central role of the designer, the designer is also “expressing” himself/herself in the designing process (e.g. Every designer and designing is unique”).

As a final remark, I feel the different perspectives of author can be mutually complimentary, because I think more than one perspectives can be used in a same case. Also how about the relation of authorship and ownership in the field of designing? Usually we think author “owns” his/her works. How about designer? Is a designer own his/her designing work?

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