The Use of Philosophical Theories in Design: A Research-Through-Design Case of Treatment Compliance

Jonne van Belle, R.B. Giesberts, Wouter Eggink

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    Design has a key role in shaping humans. In the design process, an understanding of the complex human and its often conflicting relations could be fruitful to improve the design. Ideas from Philosophy of Technology could offer a different perspective on product design. In this paper it will be explored how a philosophical perspective can support the design process in case of a conflict of interest using the ‘research-through-design’ method with a case study of clubfeet treatment compliance. The comfort and usability of the treatment could be improved using a brace instead of a cast. However, this change raises two conflicts of interest between and within parents, child and medical experts. Two philosophical theories were used, the Mediation Theory and the Product Impact Tool, to analyse the problem and design solutions. The results are, finally, discussed in light of the general design process. This philosophical perspective in the design process enabled the designer to reveal the core problem and design solutions that go beyond a technical fix.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Biannual Design Research Society Conference (DRS)
    Subtitle of host publicationCatalyst
    EditorsChristiano Storni, Keelin Leahy, Muireann McMahon, Peter Lloyd, Erik Bohemia
    Place of PublicationLimerick
    PublisherDesign Research Society
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)2398-3132
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2018
    EventDesign Research Society 2018: Catalyst - University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
    Duration: 25 Jun 201828 Jun 2018
    Conference number: 5


    ConferenceDesign Research Society 2018
    Abbreviated titleDRS 2018
    Internet address


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