Elucidating hermeneutic and reflective design practices; is it possible to present a prescriptive process?
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Reference to six modes of design reasoning, this article aims to elucidate designers´ hermeneutic and reflective ways of thinking. It seeks to answer whether it is possible to present a prescribed hermeneutic and/or reflective process. Several real-life design projects were analysed retrospectively. Results have indicated that the problem-solving design process has broadly been applied and adapted in real-life design projects. Methods and tools to support “Analysis”, “Synthesis” and “Evaluation” were varied, multiple, and not consistently applied in specific patterns or sequences. Therefore, it is difficult to elucidate a typical hermeneutic or reflective design process. However, being able to formalise some practice elements, and acknowledge the importance of context and bounded rationality, are key factors to consider, when aiming to understand what really happens in real-life design practice.