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23 MARCH 2013

Exploration oriented design process: focussing on the interplay between designer, techniques and materials in design research

"My field of interest is what I will call an exploration oriented design process included in design research; a process focussing on the interplay between designer, techniques and materials. The role of the artefact is to act as a reflecting and responding means for pushing the research process forward to clarify what is possible and how, regarding the research question. A related example of such an approach to research is found at the research cluster Autonomatic (2009) at Falmouth College University, which do research that explores the use of digital manufacturing technologies in the creative process of designing and making three dimensional objects.

As a contrast, consider a problem oriented design process included in design research. That is, designing which, although research embedded, nevertheless aims at developing working prototypes or appearance models, just as ordinary professional design. An example is the Ph.D. project by Jonathan Allen discussed by Pedgley and Wormald (2007). The aim of Jonathan Allen's research was to advance the design of, and champion new approaches to designing, products for people with severe communication disabilities and physical impairment. During his project, he developed a fully working prototype communication device.

However, in the present paper I shall demonstrate that exploration oriented design can be fruitful as a design research method, because it is relieved from the usual obligation to fulfil a purpose of everyday use, solve problems or fulfil certain needs. As we shall see, the exploration oriented design process does not proceed as a series of isolated experiments, but rather as a cluster of parallel and interdependent experiments, which as a whole reflect the potential of the research question. I will argue that this approach turns design practice in which the design researcher is trained into an effective tool for design research."

(Flemming Tvede Hansen, p.99, 2009)

Hansen, Flemming Tvede. (2009). "A Search for Unpredictable Relationships". EKSIG 2009: Experiential Knowledge, Method & Methodology, Experiential Knowledge Special Interest Group.


2009 • appearance models • Autonomatic (research cluster) • communication device • communication disability • design practicedesign researchdesign research methodologydesign researcherdesign techniquesdesigningdesigning and making • digital manufacturing • digital manufacturing technologies • EKSIG • everyday use • exploration oriented design • exploration oriented design process • Falmouth College University • Flemming Tvede Hansen • fulfil needs • interdependent experiments • interplay between • isolated experiments • Jonathan Allen • new approaches to design • ordinary professional design • Owain Pedgley • parallel experiments • Paul Wormald • physical impairment • problem oriented design process • reflecting and responding • research process • role of the artefact • solving problemsthree dimensional objectsworking prototypes


Simon Perkins
18 MARCH 2012

Integrating the process of design thinking into the classroom

"When you think of design thinking, think of innovative outcomes – like the iPod, or that perfect peeler that both cuts well and has an amazing grip, or the Aravind Eye Care system that allows for thousands of underresourced families in India to address cataract issues.

Pioneers of design thinking called it the process of 'a practical, creative resolution of problems or issues that looks for an improved future result' (Simon, 1969). Recently, educational researchers have been asking what happens when educators integrate the process of design thinking into the classroom. Their findings include numerous examples of enhanced student learning."

(Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, Atlanta)



21st centurybetter-functioning productschildrenclassroomcollaborationcomplexity • constructivist theories of learning • convergent thinking • creative resolution of problems • creativitycreativity skillscritical thinking • D.E.E.P. • design approach • design innovationdesign responsibilitydesign thinking • design thinking approach • design thinking in classroomdesign-based learningdesign-oriented thinking • deviate from facts • Discover Empathise Experiment Produce • divergent thinkingeducationeducatoreffective communication • enhanced student learning • experimentation • exploring possibilities • hands on • Herbert Simon • innovative outcomes • K-4 • know-how • learning as a social activity • multidisciplinary teams • MVPS • pedagogyproblem-oriented thinkingproblem-solvingproduct design • science concepts • science lab • scripted approach to enquiry • socio-technological dimensionssolving problemsspeculative designstudent achievementteaching science • traditional learning frameworks


Simon Perkins

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