Design methods as discourse on practice

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In this paper, we present a view of design methods as discourse on practice. We consider how the deployment of a particular set of design methods enables and constrains not only practical action but also discursive action within the design practice. A case study of agile software development methods illustrates the ways that methods establish conditions for who can speak in the design process and how. We indentify three main kinds of discourse work performed in the invoking of design methods. These are the establishing of ontologies, the authorizing of voices, and the legitimizing of practices. We then discuss implications of this view on methods for CSCW research on the relationship between methods and practice as well as implications for participation in the design process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 16th ACM international conference on Supporting group work
Publication date2010
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-0387-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • design methods
  • accountability
  • discourse analysis
  • organizational process
  • agile software development
  • software as collaborative work
  • computer supported cooperative work


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