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Chapter 2 Design languages (May 2011)

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Gráinne Conole
5 May 2011

This chapter provides a definition for the term design language and provides examples of how it is used in other professional domains. It summarises the research on design languages and considers how this relates to the notion of a learning design language. It provides a useful contextual background to the discussions in later chapters on the design visual representations and associated visualisation tools, such as the CompendiumLD tool  developed as part of the OULDI work. The chapter draws in particular on Botturi and Stubbs (2008) who provide an authoritative account of design language research. 

Design is a key feature of many professions, the chapter considers design practices in three disciplines: Music, Architecture and Chemistry and describes how design approaches have been developed in each of these. I then summarise some of the key characteristics of design practice that emerge and explore the implications of these in terms of the application of design principles to an educational context.

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