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Guest Thathertz

Design Research Needs A Re-design

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Guest Thathertz

Why is it that Design is so far behind other academic disaplines in it's research pratices?

 

Case studies may seem practical since designers tend to work in small groups , and its difficult, timely and expensive to develop experiments with external validity. But their are many draw backs, focus groups and case studies provide insight into specific situations are a poor representation of the general public and broader circumstances outside of a controlled environment. The use of more broadly applicable research methods for designing research is pertinent, since the intention of design is often to consider the needs, emotions, and context a final product will be used in –how it will likely be used or function in a broad social environment. Case studies are intimatley focused, and base decisions on an unrepresentative segment of the population. If design’s goal is to achieve professional status, and credibility within the academic realm, Design theory, and design research must a adopt a reliable method for research related more akin to those used by existing social sciences

 

Case studies are only inferences....

Freud used case studies, and they developed many hypothesiss for the field of psychology, but as a evidence or theory they a extremly weak. So Why is design Still using methods abandoned by other "more established" disaplines?

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Guest GYOKO

actually design doesnt need to deveop research system by it self..it should do this work with social scientists.. they know all the methods and can read the results better. it is just a matter of customizing the research so it can fit the purpose of the design... if you are really interested, I can post an article about design research...

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Guest Thathertz

It sounds like Design research is aiming to develop into a discrete discipline within or akin to the social sciences. What I find to be problematic is that designers and design theorists aren't applying established/reliable methods to their research.

 

actually design doesnt need to deveop research system by it self..it should do this work with social scientists.. they know all the methods and can read the results better

 

-I agree

The Social sciences have established reliable research methods -- that is large samples, statistically significant research which has relevance, while design theorists and designers are conducting case studies and small scale case focus groups that have little external validity. Design should leave social research to social sciences, and technical research to engineers, and scientist. But I think that designers are trying to justify their practice by conducting research for fear of seeming superficial or unacademic. I think there is a niche specifically for design research that is determining appropriate methods or approaches for dealing with wicked problems. A solidly based theory of design would aid the final task of a designer's work, which is the conglomeration of data into a final product physical or conceptual product with as much consideration as possible.

 

I'd really like to read your article -- please post it!

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Guest GYOKO

well, there is virtually no relevant topic that I have not covered in my book...

this post is sligthly longer, but here it is.... look under Design Resarch.

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Guest _nm

I dont think as designers we should rely on social scientists to do our research. Social Scientists are social scientists, not designers. They have their own community, goals, interests, and research methods. What is needed is for us as designers serious about research, is to develop our community and create our own research methods, experimentations, and validity claims. Design research is a new field, there are only a handful of schools that offer PhD's in design research, so right now, we can not compete with the social sciences which have a presence in virtually every university worldwide. As more and more designers are trained in research, our community will grow and we can offer a great deal to the research community. As designers we have a lot of knowledge that is tacit and unwritten, as our profession grows, we can start proving the validity and veracity of our work and knowledge.

 

I think it's a sell-out if we just say leave research for the social scientists. We have a lot to offer the research community.,

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Guest GYOKO

not to leave it, but to work with them. i am talking about the multidisciplinary teams. that is the future of design.

the best aplication of design research is in the Empathic Design -when designers know what the consumers want before even the consumers themselves know.

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Guest Autophobius

a new market .. designersmake teh markets and show people what they need.. i agree with a team mixed with different skills and professions (multi-disciplinary as you put it)

 

i myself graduated as a multi disciplinary designer but stuggle with the more indepth research that social scientist achevie more efficiently .. and working with people who can supply more indepth research must be a good thing.. ;)

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Guest GYOKO

actually, when I say multidisciplinary, I am not thinking mulitdisciplinary within the design field.. I am thinking of a combination between, let say, a designer, an engineer, a philosopher, a sociologist, a psychologist, ergnomist, financial advisors , etc...

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Guest Autophobius

quoted: i myself graduated as a multi disciplinary designer but stuggle with the more indepth research that social scientist achevie more efficiently .. and working with people who can supply more indepth research must be a good thing..

 

and

yes :) i don't think i explainned very well but i agree with you.. as you say combination of people...

all working together to make a team and form something which is one ;)

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Guest GYOKO

my design education is also very varied, from discipline to discipline.... otherwise you get stucked in what you are doing... the more you know ,the better your work is.. and since we cant know everything, we need help from other professionals as well.

my comment in the book is that designers can evolve to be able to run this multidisciplinary teams, as well being a part of them. but they need to increase their knowledge accordingly.

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Guest Autophobius

yes i agree with this also ..

there is a MA course in London that does this ...

with real professionals and really helps to focus creativity and teaches you more then you ever could imagine you would change even if you didn't know it ... it's a two year course... but something like marketing and production is so improtant and they teach it all.. and you go away more knowledgable and more powerful with knowledge and design ;)

 

implanning to go.. but i think i may want to experience the real world first to work in teams out there adn then work in teams who have the same realisations as me .. :)

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Guest HHH

There is a huge amount of design research going on, conducted by academics, manufacturers and consultancies.

 

Some Academics have never designed anything in their lives, so they sometimes explore some strange areas. However many employ proper social science type methodologies.

 

As most design problems are "wicked problems" [rittel & webber IIRC] research is very difficult to do. Also 90% of designers prefer to keep their methods somewhat secret, so finding out anything significant may be a challenge

 

In the UK the AHRB and EPSRC fund design research. Many papers are written up in this area

 

have a look at "design studies" and "the design journal" for some examples.

 

The research conducted by companies, very rarely gets made available for public inspection.

 

 

If any of you lot are at a university, ask the lecturers what they are researching, it accounts for all those hours in their offices when you thought they were just surfing the net.

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Guest GYOKO

did you had a look of the post that I have send regarding this topic -"design research"?

there are some interesting approaches..

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Guest Siona

I agree with cooperating with members of different disciplines, but I think small focus groups are valid too. The more people you research, the less individual information you get from each person. I think it's helpful for the designer to be reminded that they are designing for an actual, individual person with their own quirks and ways of thinking. You may not be able to cater to everyone, but it can highlight some key areas for improvement.

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