Design Research - Techniques for Transforming the Context.
While the processes and perspectives collectively referred to as “design thinking” have evolved progressively in the last 10 years, research methodology has not demonstrably changed in the same period. Design research has continued to add new methods to its roster of adopted tools, but do methods and tools collectively contribute to a new whole greater than the sum of the methods?
We can observe a movement toward design contexts for organizational and social setting, which have been framed as Design 3.0 and now Design 4.0, by NextD. One way to understand the difference in design applications is by reconsidering the way we understand and make sense of design opportunities in this perspective. What are the appropriate research methodologies that account for observations about the targets of Design 3.0? These might include the larger system within which a service is conceived, the organizational context, social systems with multiple stakeholders, large-scale information ecologies with multiple emergent participants. We continue to study pieces of the problem, with user research, ethnography, participatory design research, smart sampling, trend analysis. But why have we not adopted methods from other disciplines that also contribute within the systems we intend to transform? Peter will present models and perspectives relating research methods and sensemaking approaches that bring the power of contextual understanding and collaborative problem solving to these organizational and social frames of design.