added a research item
This paper is being written in an unorthodox manner by nine design researchers, educators and practitioners spanning four countries and three continents. The approach is that each author writes 100 or so words and then passes it on to the next author to respond and so on. The paper will be finished when all of the nine authors think there is something worth presenting to an international audience. At its heart, the paper wishes to examine and critique the nature and role of design at a time when the world is experiencing a range of significant crises. We propose that design should be at the forefront of shaping new visions for the world, but it must first acknowledge that it has played a central role in creating a world that nobody wants. Moreover, design research, education and practice must reconcile its contrary and downright paradoxical nature in its treatment of how it wishes to sustain the unsustainable, discipline the undisciplined, square the quality versus quantity issue, and many other contradictions.
This book offers a broad and comprehensive introduction to the field of product design and the key role of product designers. Covering a wide range of the activities involved in the creation of a new product –from concept design to manufacture, prototyping to marketing- this book also explores the diverse nature of product design, including new and emerging forms of practice. A rich overview of influential design movements and individuals, together with examples from prominent product designers, encourages the reader to challenge conventions and to think about product design in new and exciting ways.
To stay within the planetary boundaries, we have to take responsibility, and this includes designers. This requires new perspectives on design. In this work, we focus on a co-design project with indigenous communities. Within such communities, indigenous knowledge is central. Indigenous knowledge acknowledges that the world is alive and that we, as humans, are merely a small part. Central in our approach is Sheehan’s respectful design, which ensures a central place for indigenous knowledge in the design process. However, Sheehan’s approach does not state in pragmatic terms how such a design approach can be achieved. Some of the co-design processes we engaged in led to respectful design spaces, others did not. This helped us to identify patterns of dynamics that are essential for respectful design. At the core of our findings lies the observation that in order to reach a respectful design space, in which indigenous knowledge is embedded, a shared dialogical space between community and designer is essential.
In the beginning… it was craft there was no craft, nor factory. There were only things. Not the kind of things you make, but the ones you find. Lots of things around us that had to be found and used. That is how humans-and some animals-have learned to design, in the sense of designating things to a certain function. At that time, our minds, our hands, our teeth, the entirety of our bodies were the only means for designing and making. If you needed a weapon, you would pick up a stone that could be thrown; if you needed a vessel, you would rip up some leaves; if you needed an eating utensil, you would break a branch; if you wanted to cover your nudity, you would look for a fig leaf. Designing and making were intuitive-albeit sophisticated-actions that would happen almost simultaneously. More than making, our ancestors were choosing, picking, and giving functions. Choosing the right stone for fighting, the right leaves for drinking, the right stick for hunting, the best cave for sleeping, and so on. Our thinking became increasingly complex and we learned to think of things in order to make things. That's how we came to tools. We learned to shard stones to sharpen pieces of wood as hunting tools; we designed and made kilns to produce cutlery and vases for various purposes. We quickly mastered many elementary manufacturing processes ranging from hammering to sawing, from knitting to firing, from bending to casting… As our products evolved, the production tools evolved even more. Think of a chair, a vase, or a pair of glasses. They are pretty much the same as they were hundreds, or even thousands of years ago. What has greatly changed, in most cases, are the production processes behind them. Now we carve, weld, mill, cast, inject, or print the more-or-less same artefacts we used to produce back then. Changing and evolving production methods implied using-and even inventing-different materials, and having to deal with new production costs, speeds, amounts, material properties, recycling processes, logistics, distances, currencies, and so on. The German design school Bauhaus was the first school to acknowledge the changing ways that products were made, and to base its education on those changes. Bauhaus-and many schools that followed-was about educating a generation of designers that could talk to the machines in order to make them do what the designers wanted them to do. The same thinking resonates in industrial design schools around the globe today. Students of these schools are expected to know what tools are available, what processes those tools imply, and imagine what to do with them.
The paper is the story of building a design research group from scratch. As there has been some recent interest in design research as a team-based activity, this article illustrates how we built the Imagination research team and how it continues to develop. This article gives us the chance to reflect on how far we have come in the last decade. Once we were a few dedicated members of staff wanting to bring design research to a small university in the north of the UK. Now we are one of the leading centres of excellence worldwide for design research. This article uses case studies from research projects and Ph.D. research to demonstrate Imagination’s research philosophy—open-ended and anti-disciplinary. We celebrate the plurality of ways design research is carried out. The article highlights how we use design research to address global challenges, and how these have also shaped our teaching and further research. We end by considering the value of design research and how we, as a team, can take Imagination forward into the next decade.
This paper examines the current landscape of design research in the United Kingdom (UK) with a particular focus on UK research councils’ funded projects that aim to make a positive change to society. In recent years, design research in the UK has grown massively in terms of the number of students studying for a postgraduate degree (Masters and PhD), the number of institutions undertaking research, and both the quantity and quality of design-led inter- and multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects. The ongoing work presented here has involved significant data analysis and visualization of over 18,000 funded research projects in the UK. The paper highlights the recent ‘social turn’ and the increasingly collaborative nature of design for change research projects in the UK. The paper also describes some key characteristics found in and across present day design for change research projects.
As design practitioners researchers and educators, we constantly find ourselves shuffled between humanities and sciences. In fact, the design departments in the universities around the globe are sometimes placed under the formers, sometimes under the latters, thus becoming a meeting point for academics and professionals coming from both realms. The synergy resulting from the varieties of backgrounds and expertise creates a fertile ground for explorations on both a conceptual and a technical level. This paper reflects on the potential benefits of combining engineering and art research. The authors of this paper look at the increasingly delicate role that technicians, engineers and computer programmers play in developing technologies that impact our social, emotional and intimal lives, and advocate for art as a context and tool to help those professional developing their sensitivity and critical sense, besides their skills. In doing so, the paper makes a contribution to the STEM vs. STEAM conundrum, encouraging an education that merges arts and humanities disciplines with scientific and technical subjects. Art; Engineering; indisciplinarity; STEAM.
Designs do not occur in a vacuum. They are nourished by a breeding ground composed of various substances, phenomena and traces, which function as raw material for concept generation and ultimately for design. This paper examines the composition and function of this ‘culture medium’ in the context of design education through reporting two content-wise connected studies: a series of in-depth interviews with experienced design tutors, and an ethnographically oriented study with design students. Combining and comparing information gathered in both studies reveals some interesting insights about what ‘culture media’ are valued by tutors and students.
This paper explores everyday references made during the design of artefacts, but more specifically, the social and cultural affects on designing. This is achieved via ethnographically oriented studies based within the context of two design studios on different continents. The term reference is used here to describe the mode of communication that contains information about the artefact, the creator and the context. Language references are described here as the words and phrases that carry literal meanings that involve clear-cut relationships with the artefacts being created . Along with references being represented through words and phrases, references in design may also be presented in the form of images (e.g., photographs, sketches). Goldschmidt  defines references to include the precedents that designers openly reveal to have inspired them along with the points of departure that are not known as precedents. Therefore, the research reported herein acknowledges that references may or may not directly link to the artefact being created, and that the use of everyday references while designing can often be fleeting and ambiguous. This paper summarises and begins to categorise references made by introducing a model termed the ‘design process milieu’. This model is a result of two in-depth pilot studies and the two field studies reported here. The design process milieu model acts to provide an alternative framework to understand the multiple levels inherent in any design environment. This model is based on well-known theories within the social sciences, which identifies four key environments, the local and universal, emic (inside) and etic (outside) . By exploring references within an interconnected system a number of interesting aspects are revealed about how the sociocultural context may affect the design process.
The Routledge Companion to Design Research offers a comprehensive examination of design research, celebrating the plurality of design research and the wide range of conceptual, methodological, technological and theoretical approaches evident in contemporary design research. This volume comprises 39 original and high quality design research chapters from contributors around the world, with offerings from the vast array of disciplines in and around modern design praxis, including areas such as industrial and product design, visual communication, interaction design, fashion design, service design, engineering and architecture. The Routledge Companion to Design Research is divided into five distinct parts with chapters that examine the nature and process of design research, the purpose of design research, and how one might embark on design research. They also explore how leading design researchers conduct their design research through formulating and asking questions in novel ways, and the creative methods and tools they use to collect and analyse data. The Routledge Companion to Design Research also includes a number of case studies that illustrate how one might best communicate and disseminate design research through contributions that offer techniques for writing and publicising research. The Routledge Companion to Design Research will have wide appeal to researchers and educators in design and design-related disciplines such as engineering, business, marketing, and computing, and will make an invaluable contribution to state-of-the-art design research at postgraduate, doctoral, and post-doctoral levels and teaching across a wide range of different disciplines.