A Renaissance of Context in Design Science Research

Zur Heiden, Philipp
Beverungen, Daniel
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Foundational theorems for sciences of the artificial highlight that the object of design is not form alone, but ensembles of form and context. However, traditional methods, frameworks, and guidelines for design science research (DSR) strongly focus on developing artifacts as forms while downplaying their contextual reference. This undue emphasis on forms leads design researchers to develop incomplete design theories. Based on drawing on the foundational literature on design as science, we advocate for a renaissance of context, leading us to propose selective adaptations of core methods and frameworks that constitute DSR. We evaluate our approach by reviewing papers that account for most of these adaptations implicitly. Further research can draw on our results to develop IT artifacts and design theories as ensembles of context and form while discussing implications for additional methods and frameworks in DSR.
Advances in Design Science Research, context, design science research, design theory, particularism, universalism
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