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The software design studio: an exploration

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1 Author(s)
Kuhn, S. ; Massachusetts Univ., Lowell, MA, USA

Some software designers have recently turned for inspiration to the process of building design to improve development practices and increase software's usefulness and effectiveness. Architects' education revolves around the studio course, which promotes: project based work on complex and open ended problems; very rapid iteration of design solutions; frequent formal and informal critique; consideration of heterogeneous issues; the use of precedent and thinking about the whole; the creative use of constraints; and the central importance of design media. M. Kapor (1991) suggested that software practitioners needed to “rethink the fundamentals of how software is made” and proposed the architect's role in building design as a fruitful analogy for software professionals seeking to reform software practice. This analogy helps us focus on usefulness, usability, user needs and practices, and other technical and nontechnical aspects of good software design. It highlights concerns about people's lives and work practices and how people “inhabit” systems. Several authors have explored similarities and differences between software design and building design, including some who have pursued the software implications of architect Christopher Alexander's design patterns

Published in:

Software, IEEE  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 2 )