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Why ‘design research practice’ is not design as we know it
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design. Indiana University, Bloomington.
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of DRS 2014: Design's Big Debates / [ed] Lim, Y.-K., Niedderer, K., Redström, J., Stolterman, E., & Valtonen, A., Umeå: Umeå University , 2014, 1039-1048 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Is there a difference between design practice and design research practice? Building on recent discussions within design research about whether the design practice which occurs within design research is distinct and separate from the design practice which occurs within the design profession, this paper presents a case where constructive design practice was employed within a research project, using this example to study the nature of the design process in research. Through a thorough analysis of the designs generated, the motivations behind their development, their use as research tools, and the knowledge they generated, we identified three ways in which the design process was altered when it was imported into the research. First, the degree of development of the designs shifted from fully functional to functional enough. Second, the designs were developed in order to ask questions rather than trying to solve a problem. And finally, the failure of the design was equally able to contribute to generating knowledge as its success. We argue that these shifts in values clearly distinguish design research practice from professional design practice, but come with very real consequences that challenge the core measures we use to assess design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2014. 1039-1048 p.
Keyword [en]
Research through Design, Design Practice, Design Research Practice
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113501ISBN: 978-91-7601-068-6OAI: diva2:885710
Design Research Society
Available from: 2015-12-20 Created: 2015-12-20 Last updated: 2016-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Mullaney, Tara
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