Designing to Support the Social Aesthetics of Inquiry
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2005, 00:00 by Ian Hargraves, Brian Haven, Shelley Evenson, John Zimmerman
This paper addresses the design of socially centered tools to support Arts and Humanities PhD students in their Inquiries. We discuss the limitations of current products and describe our research of PhD students. Drawing on the work of the philosopher John Dewey, we find that inquiry is a characteristic activity of the members of an academic field. Inquiry as a shared human endeavor has aesthetic qualities that direct students. These aesthetic qualities manifest in social interaction and the material products of inquiry. We suggest that the fractured experiences associated with current inquiry-supporting tools can be avoided by designing from an understanding of the underlying aesthetics of inquiry. A product concept designed from this perspective is presented.