Taking It Further: The Practical Implications of Action Research in the Field of Design
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Taking It Further: The Practical Implications of Action Research in the Field of Design

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This presentation was given at the 2011 Design, Development and Research conference and aims to showcase the positive implications of Action Research as a methodology when investigating design areas ...

This presentation was given at the 2011 Design, Development and Research conference and aims to showcase the positive implications of Action Research as a methodology when investigating design areas of interest. The practice of design, as well as design thinking, is compared to Action Research, and in particularly Participatory Action Research, to highlight the similarities in processes and knowledge generation. Participatory Action Research compliments the practical nature of design, which is often solution or goal orientated. The benefit of Action research is two-fold: firstly, it allows the researcher to gain general knowledge about the area of study while, secondly, generating specific information which can be used to change the situation. The presentation and paper draws on findings from an MTech Degree study entitled Networks For Design, Through Design which used Participatory Action Research as the main methodology of the project. The presentation discusses the various phases of the study in relation to Participatory Action Research and describes how this methodology supported and guided the project outcomes.

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Taking It Further: The Practical Implications of Action Research in the Field of Design Taking It Further: The Practical Implications of Action Research in the Field of Design Presentation Transcript

  • taking it further Vikki du Preez Department of Research, History and Theory of Art and Design Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Introduction This is a presentation about action research and design research, but first… taking it further
  • Introduction Changing times Changing students Changing ideas taking it further
  • Introduction Networks for Design, through Design designer(s) + client(s) + sometimes manufacturer(s) + sometimes supplier(s) = collaboration/cooperation = design taking it further
  • Introduction Networks for Design, through Design learn  taking it further
  • Introduction Networks for Design, through Design 1. cycle of research and learning 2. continuous stakeholder involvement 3. allow for responsive actions 4. encouraged reflection This stated to remind me of… taking it further
  • Introduction Networks for Design, through Design …the design process itself and constructivist learning theory. 3 main phases: Context, Calculation & Creative Exploration Selection & Production Reflection, Adaption and Reflection taking it further
  • Design & Constructivism
  • Design & Constructivism
  • Design & Constructivism
  • Methodology Networks for Design, through Design The criteria set out for the research 1. cycle of research and learning 2. continuous stakeholder involvement 3. allow for responsive actions 4. encouraged reflection + taking into account the design process and constructivism. taking it further
  • Methodology Networks for Design, through Design (Participatory) Action Research
  • Participatory Action Research Kurt Lewin – planning | action| reflection model Intention Action What are you hoping to achieve? Who are your stakeholders? Review Did you achieve your goal? Did you find the information which enabled the change needed? ACTION What actions are necessary to find the information you need and reach your goal? Were the changes appropriate? Did the planned actions lead to appropriate outcomes? No Yes No
  • Participatory Action Research 1950’s - declined 1970’s – revived | educational focus Greenwood and Lewin (2001) noted that action research: “both as a form of multidisciplinary knowledge generation and as a form of stakeholder-centred organizational change, is the best hope for successful university reform” taking it further
  • Participatory Action Research + Design • Focus on a cyclic progression from observation to action. • Acknowledge the importance of stakeholders in the process. • Use the new knowledge in a practical way taking it further
  • Participatory Action Research + Design “The purpose of action-oriented research is to generate knowledge that can be used to address practical concerns of local communities, organisations, and groups and incorporates local understandings of specific practices and issues.” (Small and Uttal: 2005:938)
  • Participatory Action Research + Design Allows the design to work in a way which is known, to generate knowledge and apply it in a practical (design) way as well as establishing a platform for reflection.
  • Fin Questions?