Some papers by and about Horst Rittel

Here is a collection of papers by Horst Rittel and related IBIS papers Ellen collected over the years, er, decades?!


This is intended for educational and personal use only. legal note.


Disclaimer: the resolutions of the images are only as good as the original Xerox copies (remember those? that's pre-pdf era), and I only recently converting them to PDF files, and adding links found from the web. This page started after William Choi asked me for the Reasoning of Designers article, as he saw it on my Design Method class's reading list and told me he had been looking for the paper for about a year. So I thought I will share my personal collection for studious people's educational and personal use that I believe is in line with the interests of the original authors to share knowledge. ;-).

(I do not claim ownership of the copyright nor intend to infringe either, hence the legal note above)


Thank you to: Dr. Ray McCall (for the Reasoning of Designers article I copied in 1994, and maybe some more waiting to be scanned if I can find them), Dr. Mark D Gross and Dr. Dale Brown (the majority of the xerox papers are from Dr. Brown) for lending me their Xerox copies. Also thanks to Prof. Andrés Weil for the Spanish translation of the Planning Crisis article.


* If you find other related articles, please send me a link, or if you send me the paper copies I can scan them to PDF and posted here --> email ellen




in reverse chronological order –

  * Wicked Problems by Swedish Morphological Society

* Chapory Rith and Hugh Dubberly - Why Horst W.J. Rittel Matters, in Design Issues: Volume 23, Number 1, Winter 2007, 72-91 (also on MIT Press site )


* Memoriam to Rittel , 1992 (also )


* Letter from Diana Lee-Smith to Rittel, Mazingira Institute, Nairobi Kenya 1990


* Horst W. J. Rittel, The Reasoning of Designers, Arbeitspapier zum International Congress on Planning and Design Theory in Boston, August 1987. Schriftenreihe des Instituts fuer Grundlagen der Planung, Universitaet Stuttgart 1988)


* Donald P Grant, Issue-Based Information System (IBIS), Chapter 6, in Olsen, Shirley A (1982) Group Planning and Problem-Solving Methods in Engineering Management, New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1982 pp. 203-246 (found citation info from p 99 from Google Book result of Design Methodology and Relationships with Science By Marc de Vries, Nigel Cross and Donald P Grant )


* JP Protzen, Reflections on the Fable of the Caliph, the Ten Architects and the Philosopher, 1981, Journal of Architectural Education 34(4) 2-8


* Horst Rittel, APIS: A Concept for an Argumentative Planning Information System, 1980, Working Paper No. 324. Berkeley: Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California, 1980.


* Hans Dehlinger, JP Protzen, Debate and Argumentation in Planning, An inquiry into Appropriate Rules and Procedures, published by Horst Rittel at the Institut fur Grundlagen der Planung, 1978


* Horst W. J. Rittel and Melvin Webber; "Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning" pp 155-169, Policy Sciences, Vol. 4, Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, Inc. Amsterdam, 1973, Also at Melvin Webber or Dilemmas+General_Theory_of_Planning.pdf


* Hans Dehlinger and Jean-Pierre Protzen, Information Systems, pp 38 – 45, DMG – DRS Journal: Design Research and Methods, Vol. 6, No. 2, April – June, 1972

* On the Planning Crisis BEDRIFTSOKONOMEN NR. 8 - 1972, pp. 390-396

Here is the Spanish translation rittel2008.pdf by Chilean architect Andrés Weil, April 3, 2008


* Werner Kunz and Horst Rittel, Issues as Elements of Information Systems ,Working Paper No. 131 July 1970


* Horst Rittel, Hierarchy or Team? Considerations on the Organization of the R&D Cooperatives, 1967 - Tech Report, originally from Ecoomics of Research and Development, Edited by Richard A Tybout, Columbus: Ohio State University, 1965. 174-218