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Wickedness of design research practice
methodological issues in
bringing knowledge to expression
through design
* Stoffel K...
This talk
‣ my research
‣ methodological issues
‣ support in literature
‣ discussion of support found
‣ design research - ...
My research: human murmurations
‣ interaction design
‣ design for qualities of interaction
My research: human murmurations
‣ technological mediation of large group interactions
‣ direct experience of higher order ...
My research: human murmurations
‣ Research through Design - artifact as carrier and means
‣ Embodying theory
‣ (post-)phen...
My research: human murmurations
‣ Slider boxes
My research: human murmurations
‣ evaluation of research artifacts
‣ import of theory from other academic fields
‣ import o...
Methodological issues
‣ ‘evaluate’ the opening up of a design space:
‣ How the experience of an individual interacting in
...
Methodological issues
‣ conceptual circles (chickens, eggs)
‣ experience of mediated social dynamics is brought
about by t...
Methodological issues
‣ nested wickedness of design research practice
‣ of approach
‣ of subject matter
‣ ... (relation be...
Looking for support structures
‣ review of discourse on practice based design research
‣ HCI / interaction design
Looking for support structures
‣ The Nature of Design Practice and Implications for Interaction Design Research
(Stolterma...
Focus of current discourse
‣ knowledge production
‣ describing outcomes, types of knowledge
‣ purposes thereof
‣ yardstick...
Wickedness in current discourse
‣ wickedness: identified and characterized
‣ missing: resolving wickedness or what that mig...
Navigating design research landscapes
‣ canonical examples - exploratory journeys
‣ missing: explicit treatment of the mea...
Tension in research practices
‣ possible reason for missing support:
‣ focus on constituting elements of research
‣ tradit...
Design research = practice?
‣ research in design practice
‣ individual designer’s needs in a given situation
‣ design rese...
Design research = practice!
‣ resolution of conceptual circles through design
‣ understanding of traditional design circle...
in Summary
‣ interesting outcomes not by chance
‣ discourse focusses on academic standing
‣ valuable for developing theore...
in Summary
‣ articulating in what way design research practice
‣ is kind of research practice
‣ is kind of design practice
in Summary
‣ How to:
‣ iteratively and systematically increase the clarity of
questions, answers and their relation
‣ refin...
to be continued...
‣ relation of practice and research
‣ ongoing debate
DRS2014 - Design’s Big Debates
June 16 - 19, 2014 in Umeå, Sweden
‣ General Chairs:
‣ prof. Johan Redström
‣ prof. Erik St...
The wickedness of design research practice - IASDR 2013
The wickedness of design research practice - IASDR 2013
The wickedness of design research practice - IASDR 2013
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The wickedness of design research practice - IASDR 2013

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In this paper we review existing literature in design research to see to what extent it provides a basis for meeting the methodological challenges that we encounter in our own practice- based design research. Seemingly, much attention is given to describing the results and types of knowledge that design research may provide, the purposes those may serve and by what yardsticks those results may be evaluated. Another focal area seems to be the form(-ats) in which the results of design research are presented and disseminated. What is often missing, however, are detailed accounts of the roles that design practice plays that can be picked up and used by others doing design research. This is unfortunate, as it is often such methodological structures that we struggle with. The emergence of ‘design research practices’ entails something more than mere combinations of design practice and academic research. Research typically has the objective of knowledge production; practice has the objective of creating the right thing by solving a set of problems. Considered a ‘new’ kind of design practice, design research practice seems to be more about problem finding through the design and creation of things that bring knowledge to expression. Thus, the process by which it achieves this must be uncovered and articulated.

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The wickedness of design research practice - IASDR 2013

  1. 1. Wickedness of design research practice methodological issues in bringing knowledge to expression through design * Stoffel Kuenen Johan Redström 27.08.2013 ‘Blending design research and practice’ 1455-1
  2. 2. This talk ‣ my research ‣ methodological issues ‣ support in literature ‣ discussion of support found ‣ design research - practice
  3. 3. My research: human murmurations ‣ interaction design ‣ design for qualities of interaction
  4. 4. My research: human murmurations ‣ technological mediation of large group interactions ‣ direct experience of higher order social dynamics ‣ bridging: ‣ individual action and experience ‣ emergent phenomena in population
  5. 5. My research: human murmurations ‣ Research through Design - artifact as carrier and means ‣ Embodying theory ‣ (post-)phenomenology ‣ computational sociology, network science ‣ CogSci, Social Psychology
  6. 6. My research: human murmurations ‣ Slider boxes
  7. 7. My research: human murmurations ‣ evaluation of research artifacts ‣ import of theory from other academic fields ‣ import of systems of evaluation? ‣ (controlled) experiment?
  8. 8. Methodological issues ‣ ‘evaluate’ the opening up of a design space: ‣ How the experience of an individual interacting in and with large group dynamics could develop
  9. 9. Methodological issues ‣ conceptual circles (chickens, eggs) ‣ experience of mediated social dynamics is brought about by the artifact to be designed ‣ how can research be undertaken systematically in order to generate the types of outcomes that fit a system of evaluation, which, in turn, fits the type of work?
  10. 10. Methodological issues ‣ nested wickedness of design research practice ‣ of approach ‣ of subject matter ‣ ... (relation between) ‣ in design practice, wickedness resolved by design acts
  11. 11. Looking for support structures ‣ review of discourse on practice based design research ‣ HCI / interaction design
  12. 12. Looking for support structures ‣ The Nature of Design Practice and Implications for Interaction Design Research (Stolterman, 2008) ‣ From design research to theory: Evidence for a maturing field (Forlizzi et al., 2009) ‣ An analysis and critique of research through design: towards a formalization of research approach (Zimmerman et al., 2010) ‣ Establishing criteria of rigour and relevance in interaction design (Fällman & Stolterman, 2010) ‣ What should we expect from Research through Design (Gaver, 2012) ‣ The logic of Annotated Portfolios: Communicating the Value of ‘Research through Design’ (Bowers, 2012) ‣ Annotated Portfolios and other forms of Intermediate-level knowledge (Löwgren, 2013)
  13. 13. Focus of current discourse ‣ knowledge production ‣ describing outcomes, types of knowledge ‣ purposes thereof ‣ yardsticks for evaluation ‣ forms and formats of presentation and dissemination
  14. 14. Wickedness in current discourse ‣ wickedness: identified and characterized ‣ missing: resolving wickedness or what that might mean ‣ i.e. how design research practice unfolds
  15. 15. Navigating design research landscapes ‣ canonical examples - exploratory journeys ‣ missing: explicit treatment of the means by which we navigate such journeys successfully ‣ little support for staking out research trajectories
  16. 16. Tension in research practices ‣ possible reason for missing support: ‣ focus on constituting elements of research ‣ traditional research practice: ‣ break apart circularity of question-answer relation ‣ design practice: ‣ holistic view on how problem-formulation and design-solution evolve
  17. 17. Design research = practice? ‣ research in design practice ‣ individual designer’s needs in a given situation ‣ design research practice ‣ questions related to research context and community ‣ different output
  18. 18. Design research = practice! ‣ resolution of conceptual circles through design ‣ understanding of traditional design circles ‣ what it is like to sit by means of designing chairs ‣ iterations to increase precision of design expression
  19. 19. in Summary ‣ interesting outcomes not by chance ‣ discourse focusses on academic standing ‣ valuable for developing theoretical side ‣ less valuable for supporting the practice of doing the research
  20. 20. in Summary ‣ articulating in what way design research practice ‣ is kind of research practice ‣ is kind of design practice
  21. 21. in Summary ‣ How to: ‣ iteratively and systematically increase the clarity of questions, answers and their relation ‣ refine the resolution of a conceptual circle that we propose
  22. 22. to be continued... ‣ relation of practice and research ‣ ongoing debate
  23. 23. DRS2014 - Design’s Big Debates June 16 - 19, 2014 in Umeå, Sweden ‣ General Chairs: ‣ prof. Johan Redström ‣ prof. Erik Stolterman ‣ prof. Anna Valtonen ‣ Conversations and Debates chairs: ‣ Carl diSalvo ‣ Jamer Hunt ‣ Papers chairs: ‣ Youn-Kyung Lim ‣ Kristina Niederer ‣ Deadline for full papers: ‣ 1st October 2013 ‣ www.drs2014.org ‣ also in Sweden in same period ‣ KEER 2014 conference

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