Yes, design theory is important too... and some of this may be "hidden" in basic chemistry.
One thing that keeps reappearing in photographic chemistry is buffers and their use/design/calculation whathave you.
I for one would like to have course work dealing specifically in working with buffers in photographc materials... course work which would prepare me to design working materials that meet given design goals.
Such a course could be designed by Kirk, a chemist, or a photographic engineer;
However, the more real life material used in the examples and exercises, the better...
as that is what holds our attention.
How many people would actually use such a program/study guide or article?
Well, at least one!
I feel there is a real need for such material... despite there being many introductory lessons in chemistry on the net... because if relevancy is not obvious, dedication and probably, efficiency grows weak.