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Which clippings match 'Journal Of Visual Art Practice' keyword pg.1 of 1
24 FEBRUARY 2013

Theory construction problems in design research

"Until recently, the field of design was an adjunct to art and craft. With the transformation of design into an industrial discipline come responsibilities that the field of design studies has only recently begun to address.

This transformation means that design is becoming a generalizable discipline that may as readily be applied to processes, media interfaces or information artefacts as to tools, clothing, furniture or advertisements. To understand design as a discipline that can function within any of these frames means developing a general theory of design. This general theory should support application theories and operational programmes. Moving from a general theory of design to the task of solving problems involves a significantly different mode of conceptualization and explicit knowledge management than adapting the tacit knowledge of individual design experience.

So far, most design theories involve clinical situations or micro–level grounded theories developed through induction. This is necessary, but it is not sufficient for the kinds of progress we need.

In the social sciences, grounded theory has developed into a robust and sophisticated system for generating theory across levels. A 'grounded' theory is an inductive theory emerging or rising from the ground of direct, empirical experience. These theories ultimately lead to larger ranges of understanding, and the literature of grounded theory is rich in discussions of theory construction and theoretical sensitivity (Glaser 1978, 1992; Glaser and Strauss 1967; Strauss 1991; Strauss and Corbin 1990, 1994).

One of the deep problems in design research is the failure to engage in grounded theory, developing theory out of practice. Instead, many designers confuse practice with research. Rather than developing theory from practice through articulation and inductive inquiry, some designers mistakenly argue that practice is research. From this, they claim that practicebased research is itself a form of theory construction."

(Ken Friedman, 2008, pp.153–154)

Ken Friedman (2008). "Research into, by and for design." Journal of Visual Arts Practice Volume 7 Number 2. Intellect Ltd. Article. English Language. doi: 10.1386/jvap.7.2.153/1

TAGS

2008 • Anselm Strauss • application theories • art and craft • Barney Glaser • Christopher Fraylingclinical researchclinical situationsconceptualisationdesign disciplinedesign fielddesign researchdesign studies • design theories • Donald Schon • empirical experience • empirical-analyticexplicit knowledge • general theory of design • generalisabilitygenerating theorygrounded theoryHerbert Read • individual design experience • inductive enquiryinductive reasoning • inductive theory • Journal of Visual Art Practice • Juliet Corbin • Ken FriedmanMichael Polanyi • micro-level grounded theories • Nigel Cross • pamphlet • Peter Bergerpractice-based research • research by design • research by or through designresearch for design • research into design • research through designsocial sciencestacit knowledge • theoretical sensitivity • theory building • theory construction • Thomas KuhnThomas Luckmann

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 JULY 2012

New Horizons: Current Developments in Research Practice

"BIAD's Research Summer School is now in its third year, and has established itself as a popular annual event that introduces researchers to current trends and issues in research.

This year's programme will feature the latest developments in research practice and consider how they apply to research in art and design. It will cover new approaches, such as digital and video research, and issues of current interest around publishing, the Research Excellence Framework, and the impact of art and design research beyond academia–including how research operates in the real world.

There will be plenty of opportunity to debate, both with the speakers and with colleagues and fellow researchers, and the programme will include opportunities for networking."

(Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, 2012 Summer School)

TAGS

2012Arts and Humanities Research Councilbeyond academiaBIAD • BIAD Summer School • BirminghamBirmingham Institute of Art and DesignChris Smith • current developments in research practice • design researcher • digital and video research • Educational Technology at the Open University • how research operates • impact case studies • impact of art and design research • issues in research • Journal of Visual Art Practiceknowledge acquired from real-world settings • London Metropolitan University • Mark Llewellyn • Martin Weller • new horizonspublishingResearch Excellence Frameworkresearch in art and design • research networking • research practice • research summer school • research themesresearcherssummer schooltrendsUK • Visual Arts Practice Research Group

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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