Experiencing as Doing and Undergoing

  • Brian S. Dixon
Part of the Design Research Foundations book series (DERF)


In this chapter I aim to draw some initial alignments between Dewey’s work and design research by focusing in on the theme of experience. To begin, I examine Dewey’s approach to experience in both its general and aesthetic forms. This then leads in to a consideration of how the theme of experience is currently approached within the field of design. Here, some existent points of Deweyan inspiration are identified in user experience and experience-centered design literature. Thereafter, I seek to extend the discussion further by offering an in-depth exploration of Dewey’s theoretical interlinking of experience and nature within his ‘naturalistic metaphysics’—an often-overlooked aspect of his philosophy. The chapter then concludes with a reflection on how, by drawing on Dewey’s work, a more expansive understanding of experience might be established within design.


Design research Design practice Interaction design User experience Experience-Centered design John Dewey 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian S. Dixon
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social SciencesUlster UniversityBelfastUK

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