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Macintyre 2018 Design as a Way of Knowing


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Design and Design Thinking has been business and management for some time, with influential thinkers like Roger Martin at Harvard, and Tim Brown of IDEO promoting the approach as a way to address complex problems in the public and the private sector (Brown and Martin 2015). Part of the interest relates to the way design tools have been used in the digital economy to create artefacts and systems, the success of these things leading to the sense that the design is an approach to problem solving that can be applied in a number of contexts. This paper is an attempt to make sense of design based approaches as a research tool. It is based on my own interest in, and experience of, using these approaches in work with Third Sector organisations as they explore and develop their engagement with the digital world. Influenced by Dorst and Cross (2001) my own work places the focus on the organisation, and on how values are articulated, explored, contested and narrated through design, production and use of digital media. Even a simplistic account of design practice recognises it as a creative inquiry. However, in order to develop a more sophisticated understanding of design practice as research practice there is a need to look at the mode of inquiries used within design. In particular, what kinds of questions can design based approaches address. The paper will report on the insights that a design approach to action research can bring by focussing on Voluntary Organisations and value.

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Macintyre 2018 Design as a Way of Knowing

  1. 1. Design as a Way of Knowing Ronald Macintyre @roughbounds Cite as: Macintyre R. (2018) Design as a Way of Knowing, Qualitative Research in Management: Praxis and Performance in Research, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 27th-29th of March 2018, CC BY SA 4.0
  2. 2. Structure • Design as Practice • From Research into Design to Design as Research • Value and Design Based Approaches • The Reality of Design Work with Volunteer Scotland • Conclusion
  4. 4. OpenLearn Source: Patrina Law (Head of Free Learning) The Open University, “10 Years of OpenLearn”, April 2016
  5. 5. What do we mean by OEP? We think of Open Educational Practices as those educational practices that are concerned with and promote equity and openness. Our understanding of ‘open’ builds on the freedoms associated with “the 5 Rs” of OER, promoting a broader sense of open, emphasising social justice, and developing practices that open up opportunities for those distanced from education. The P in OEP? … Practice … Participation … the public
  7. 7. Research into Design • Designerly Ways of Knowing (Dorst and Cross 2001), looks at reasoning, deductive, inductive, abductive, draws on Peirce and Dewey • Participatory Design, drawing on Scandinavian approaches to explore how to involve people in design process (Gregory 2003) • Critical Design, looks at the role of non functional design, to provoke, tracing the past speculating on the future (Malpass 2017) • Craft looks at how the way we imagine value and use in the future shapes what we do in the present (Valentine 2011).
  8. 8. Design as Research For example … As it flows from the design process, investigating particular aspects relating to users or production Research into your own Design Practice, common purpose with applied action research e.g. education. Does design suggest a particular way of knowing that allows us to make visible things which would otherwise be obscured?
  10. 10. Start with the value you want to create for the learner and/or your organisation rather than what you know (or think learners ought to know) and how you think we ought to communicate VALUE How What Figure adapted from Dorst and Cross 2001 In my work I start with Value … this very slide … but how did I arrive here …
  11. 11. … “Sensitising Concepts” … As normative discerned from deliberative discussions, surveys, intertextually and critically through the democratic process (Bozeman 2008) What “the public” values and what is valuable to “the public” (Bennington 2009) Is relational, arises from the valuer, the object, the criteria (Meynhardt 2009) Is shaped by dimensions of publicness (Moulton 2009) Is co-created, arising from the work done (Vargo and Lusch 2004; Osborne 2013) Is a matter of how well an organisation is aligns it resources and capabilities to the external environment (Grant 2010) VALUE Messy Problems … Clumsy [illfitting] Frames
  12. 12. In Design … Is concerned with transformation, as imagined and through this realised (Malpass 2017; Green 2014) Is concerned with speculation, with throwing oneself into the future to imagine use (Di Salvo 2012) With these imagined uses and values shaping our understanding of how to act in the present (Valentine 2011) VALUE
  13. 13. The Expression Values based Value Creation faces different ways: • Facing into an organisation, norms and values; • Circling within the organisation, how the organisation creates value. Then … • Facing out from an organisation, how it is created through use or work, and the values expressed. Involving … • Double movements, where speculations on future value inform present practice. VALUE
  15. 15. Volunteer Scotland. The Education Team at a workshop on the 17th of January 2018 Group Work First Design Workshop at Volunteer Scotland, Stirling, 17th of January 2018, Ronald Macintyre CC BY SA 4.0
  16. 16. Ask participations to .. Exploring Learners Journeys: Exercise on … IDEA EXPLORATION Drawing a “rich picture” • “Rich Pictures” are a way to capture issues and relationships that can be difficult to put into words • You don’t need to be able to draw, and people should “share the pen” • Try to come to a shared view, note differences of view • The discussion about what you might draw is just as important as the drawing. Ideal Crofting Learner, SFC Workshop, Kyle of Lochalsh, 15th of October 2015, Ronald Macintyre CC BY SA 4.0
  17. 17. Exploring Learners Journeys: Exercise on … IDEA EXPLORATION THROUGH SPECULATION Draw out an “rich picture” of your “ideal” learner • Think about the learner, who are they at the start of the journey • Who are they at the end, what is it they are able to do • Think about how the value realised by the learner and the organisation. More Group Work First Design Workshop at Volunteer Scotland, Stirling, 17th of January 2018, Ronald Macintyre CC BY SA 4.0
  18. 18. Themes from the Ideal Learner Pictures • Diverse backgrounds and experiences, • Recognise problems they need to solve • Willing to learn, and willing to learn from each other • Be able to apply the learning within their context • Recognise learning is a journey that does not stop at the end of the course • Continue to support others after the course is finished • Be advocates for volunteering within the organisation, • Promote Volunteer Scotland and its values The Ideal Learner, Volunteer Scotland, Stirling, 17th of January 2018, Ronald Macintyre CC BY SA 4.0
  19. 19. Adapting Soft Systems: Exploring Learning Journeys with Participants Traditional SSM Learner Centred C/B – Originally Customer later beneficiaries Who are the learners? Learners are not customers in any normal sense, in open education the question is who is “your public”? A – who are the main actors Actors, who is around them, helping create the content, supporting the learner, what is around them, think about the socio-material/technical context. Activities, what is the nature of the activities, where and with what or whom T – Transformation Process What is it they will be able to do in the world at the end of the journey W – Worldview What is the worldview, does it represent/challenge particular positions or sets of values O/V – Owners, later also to include victims Who is are all those affected E – Environment What is the wider context in which this sit?
  20. 20. Exploring Learning Journeys: Transformation SSM Volunteer Scotland T – Transformation Process The Ideal Learner They will come with lots of questions and perhaps some frustration, they want to change and will change practice in their organisation. Carries forward echoes of the past, formal “volunteer manager” and internal organisational tensions over formalising informal volunteering Facing Out The course is an act of persuasion, it calls a particular public into being, as part of a broader change in VS, want to use openness to engage a broader range of volunteer experience and draw informal volunteers closer to the organisation. The learners will be confident advocates for the value of volunteering and VS values within their organisation and in their interaction with volunteers and peers. Tensions between formal and informal, and listening and telling. Facing In It is part of a strategic realignment, which means more direct engagement with and listening to a broader set of voices in the voluntary sector identified as part of an internal values review. In order to enable the engagement with this broader public their will be a change in the alignment of resources and a redeployment of staff
  21. 21. CONCLUSION
  22. 22. Speculating on Value for the Learner • Organisational narratives over “who they are for” and their public plays on questions of value(s) past present and future. • Work based learning for “affective labour” (Fraser 2014) like volunteering is political, expressing particular values • Speculations about the value for the learner focus on what the learners ability to enact change based on VS values
  23. 23. Reflection on Value(s) in the Organisation • For values based organisations values past, present and future inform “the way we do things around here”, leading to tensions over possible futures. • Real and imagined “publics” are evoked top down and bottom up to support (re)alignment of resources and capabilities • Tentatively suggest … Acting in a designerly way asks people to “look to the future” allowing you to surface these discourses
  24. 24. Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership The Open University Business School The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6AA
  25. 25. Acknowledgements • Some of the work presented here would not have been possible without funding from the Scottish Government for Open Educational Practices Scotland (OEPS) a programme hosted by the OU in Scotland, and special thanks to Pete Cannell the Director of OEPS. • James Rees and Alessandro Sancino for support and hard questions • Adrian Murtagh at Volunteer Scotland for being open and honest and helping me understand value and values a little better.
  26. 26. References Benington J. (2009) Creating the Public In Order To Create Public Value?, International Journal of Public Administration, 32(3-4), pp. 232- 249 Bozeman, B., (2008). Debate: Public Value Trade-Offs and Methodological Trade-Offs. Public Money and Management, 28(3), pp.135– 136. Di Salvo C. (2012) Adversarial Design, MIT Press: MA Cambridge Dorst, K. & Cross, N., (2001). Creativity in the design process: co-evolution of problem–solution. Design Studies, 22(5), pp.425–437. Fraser, N., (2014). Can society be commodities all the way down? Post-Polanyian reflections on capitalist crisis. Economy and Society, 43(4), pp 541-558 Grant, R. M. (2010) Contemporary Strategy Analysis, 7th edn, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing. Gregory, J. (2003) Scandinavian Approaches to Participatory Design, International Journal of Engineering Education, 19, 1, pp62-74 Green, S., Southee, D. & Boult, J., (2014). Towards a design process ontology. Design Journal, 17(4), pp.515–537. Malpass M. (2017) Critical Design in Context: History Theory and Practice, Bloomsbury Academic Publishing: London Meynhardt, T., 2009. Public Value Inside: What is Public Value Creation? International Journal of Public Administration, 32(3–4), pp.192– 219. Moore M. H. (1995) Creating Public Value: Strategic Management in Government, Harvard University Press: London Moulton, S., (2009). Putting Together the Publicness Puzzle: A Framework for Realized Publicness. Public Administration Review, 69(5), pp.889–900. Osborne, S., Z. Radnor, and G. Nasi. (2013). “A New Theory for Public Service Management? Toward a (Public) Service-Dominant Approach.” The American Review of Public Administration, 43(2), pp 135–158 Valentine, L., (2011). Craft as a form of mindful inquiry. Design Journal, 14(3), pp.283–306. Vargo, S.L. & Lusch, R.F., (2004). The Four Service Marketing Myths: Remnants of a Goods-Based, Manufacturing Model. Journal of Service Research, 6(4), pp.324–335.