Design research.

19 May 2009 - 11:13pm
7 years ago
7 replies
314 reads
Sathyan V

To me there is no design without research. So actual design practice is research. But there are days when your design today just becomes a research for a better design. I guess both hold true always !!


20 May 2009 - 1:14am
Alan James Salmoni

Interesting but from a different perspective, can you have good design
without research?

As an interaction designer, I am focused on designing well for how
people interact with things. Where I work now, we are extremely
focused on doing customer research as a part of our design process
because we want our products to be based around how our customers
think and feel, and how they expect things to be presented.
Prototypes are then tested as best as we can to improve them further
and this is research too. We also try to keep a tag on what happens
after release - although it's hard to change a released product, we
can learn from this stage too. I guess this means that our entire
design process is research in its way. Even if it doesn't affect the
researched product in particular, it can benefit later ones.

However, I'm not sure this is the type of research that you're
referring to? You seem to be aiming more at artistic research? Could
you clarify what you mean for me?

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20 May 2009 - 1:33am
Angel Marquez

life IS research.
I prefer the artist view; but, I also understand where Nigan is coming from.

If you wanted to pass Nigans class with a higher grade you would memorize
and respond:
Research is:
Experiential, Qualitative, Quantitive, Speculative, Experiential,
Performative, Discovery-Led, Formal, & Procedural.

If you wanted to pass Frayling's class with a higher grade you would come up
with a more exotic view that brought the world into focus for a split
second. Maybe recite Kansas's dust in the wind.

Average grade make up your own way and challenge their research.

Do we have to pick sides? A winner? A loser? Can't they both be right and
you favor one more than the other just because it reminds you of something
special or one is more effective under different circumstances.

Research is research, investigate systematically ...

Yes, of course you can have a good design without research. I think those
are the best designs. I'm not negating research I just find things that
emerge without over thinking are more interesting. Phenomenon...

What chess games make a better winner ones that are played with time limits
or ones that you can think about your move for as long as you'd like?

On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 6:58 PM, Leonardo Parra Agudelo <
lparra at> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I am currently involved in a discussion on how research can be a part of
> design.
> There seems to be two different paths, Nigan Bayazit wrote: "Some of the
> art, craft, and design people call what they do for art and design
> “research.”...An artist’s practicing activities when creating a work of art
> or a craftwork cannot be considered research.", but C Frayling from RCA
> writes about how the actual design practice IS research. Just an issue
> tickling my mind these days. Any input on this?
> Best,
> Leonardo.
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20 May 2009 - 2:17am
Andy Polaine

Yes, you'll never find a definitive answer to this, only debate.
Remember that some of this doesn't come from a position of actually
trying to define design research for its own sake but that it is also
loaded with politics in academia about who gets their hands on
research money.

My own feeling and experience is that too much of either side
doesn't necessarily help and a balance of the two approaches is
good. It also depends on the project in hand - some lend themselves
to one style over another. The danger with the Bayazit approach is
that it can end up being totally theoretical.

The best thing I ever learned about research is that its not research
until its published - by "published" I mean "put out there in the
world" in some way, whether that is objects made or papers written.
Other people need to be able to view it and critique it.

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