Whither Design Theory and Methods?
Authors: Gero, John S
This position paper briefly introduces design theory and design methods, presents changes that
have occurred on the last 50 years prior to examining the changes that are likely to take place over the
next 50 years in designing and in building. It examines potential changes in our knowledge about the
cognitive behaviour of designers, users, users’ social behaviour, user‐building interactions, user emotions,
design tools that learn and adapt, buildings that learn and adapt, buildings as part of a social ecology, and
three new types of interfaces: brain‐computer interfaces, user‐building interfaces and brain‐building
interfaces. Each of these is assessed for their potential effect on design theories and design methods. The
conclusion is that very few, if any, of these will require modifications to design theories but that new
design methods will need to be developed.