The Universe of Design: Horst Rittel's Theories of Design and Planning, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Universe of Design

Horst Rittel's Theories of Design and Planning, 1st Edition

By Jean-Pierre Protzen, David J. Harris


252 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415779890
pub: 2010-04-30
Hardback: 9780415779883
pub: 2010-04-30
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203851586
pub: 2010-05-06
from $31.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book examines the theoretical foundations of the processes of planning and design.

When people – alone or in groups – want to solve problems or improve their situation, they make plans. Horst Rittel studied this process of making plans and he developed theories – including his notion of "wicked problems" – that are used in many fields today. From product design, architecture and planning – where Rittel’s work was originally developed – to governmental agencies, business schools and software design, Rittel’s ideas are being used. This book collects previously unavailable work of Rittel’s within the framework of a discussion of Rittel’s theories and philosophical influences.

Table of Contents

Prologue Part 1: Foundations 1.1. Reflections On The Scientific And Political Significance Of Decision Theory 1.2. Science and Design Seminars: Introduction 1.3. Seminar 1: Modes of Innovation 1.4. Seminar 2: Images and Message 1.5. Seminar 3: Communications 1.6. Seminar 4: Establishing Order 1.7. Seminar 5: Measuring Values and Images 1.8. Seminar 6: Environments 1.9. Seminar 7: Design 1.10. Seminar 8: Models of and for Design 1.11. Seminar 9: Models of and for Design 2 1.12. Seminar 10: Conclusion Part 2: Wicked Problems 2.1. On the Planning Crisis Part 3: Design Reasoning 3.1. Structure and Usefulness of Planning Information Systems 3.2. Issues As Elements Of Information Systems 3.3. The Reasoning of Designers Part 4: Consequences of Design 4.1. Technological Change and Urban Structure 4.2. Pathologies of Planning. Epilogue

About the Authors

Jean-Pierre Protzen is Professor of the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley. He was Horst Rittel’s colleague and collaborator for over twenty years and since Rittel’s death in 1990 has continued teaching Rittel’s work at Berkeley.

David J. Harris was Protzen’s student at Berkeley, and his dissertation, "Design Theory: From Scientific Method to Humanist Practice," relied heavily on Rittel’s work. He currently works as an editor and writing coach.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings: