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Wicked Problems Revisited

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Coyne, R. (2004). Wicked problems revisited. Design Studies 26, 5-17.

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Original abstract: I revisit Rittel and Webers essay on the wicked problem, and relate it to more recent theories about rationality and professionalism. Perhaps the most provocative challenge comes from Deleuze and Guattaris difficult commentary on the rhizome, which has currency within much design studio culture. I posit the controversial conclusion that wickedness is not aberrant. It is formulations of professionalism which pay homage to the idea of formal rules, goal setting, and calculation as representing the norm of rationality, that present as deviations.

Rubric for the reading group: Everyone attending is expected to read the paper in advance. Please bring a copy with you, preferably annotated with interesting reflections. The format of discussion will be a brief invited introduction/critique by two members of the group, followed by general discussion and informal mixing.

This talk is part of the Crucible/Microsoft HCI Reading Group series.

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