Cross, N. Designerly Ways of Knowing: Design Discipline Versus Design Science. Design Issues 17(3), 2001. pp. 49-55.
The article represents a historical walkthrough of science in and about design. The author identifies different approaches and time periods during which ‘scientification’ of design has been tried. The relationship between science and design is still anything but clear and the article goes through three main interpretations of this relationship:
1) Scientific design. According to the article scientific design refers basically to modern industrial design, i.e. basing the design on scientific knowledge but utilizing both intuitive and nonintuitive design methods.
2) Design science refers to systematic approach to design in which the design itself is scientific activity.
3) Science of design refers to studying design with scientific methods.
In the end the author turns towards Donald Schon and his ideas of reflective design. This line of thought leads to a conclusion that design as discipline can mean design studied on its own terms and with its own culture. This means being careful on sustaining the strengths of design and designers while acknowledging the strengths of other disciplines and drawing on them where appropriate. It seems that this kind of approach would fit well on the field of HCI as well.