"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
"Archaeology is what archaeologists do. This answer is not a tautology. It refers us to the practices of archaeology. And to the conditions under which archaeologists work - the institutions and infrastructures, the politics and pragmatics of getting archaeological work done.
Archaeologists work on what is left of the past. Archaeology is about relationships - between past and present, between archaeologist and traces and remains. Archaeology is a set of mediating practices - working on remains to translate, to turn them into something sensible - inventory, account, narrative, explanation, whatever.
Archaeology is a way of acting and thinking - about what is left of the past, about the temporality of remainder, about material and temporal processes to which people and their goods are subject, about the processes of order and entropy, of making, consuming and discarding at the heart of human experience.
'Archaeological Sensibility' and 'Archaeological Imagination' are terms to summarize components of these mediating and transformative practices. Sensibility refers us to the perceptual components of how we engage with the remains of the past. Imagination refers us to the creative component - to the transforming work that is done on what is left over."
"Why waste time on expensive experiments when the right answer is obvious? The flaw in this thinking is that creativity is an iterative process in which you synthesize the final result from a variety of sources and thousands of potential solutions. It is not purely a deductive process with a single right answer.
When you fail to experiment broadly, you are building your solution from an anemic set of mental and technical resources. It is the equivalent of trying to design a bridge when the only material you've tested is paper. You can certainly build a bridge, but it will not be nearly as good compared to someone who experimented with a broad range of materials and construction techniques including steel or concrete."
(Daniel Cook, 16 August 2010)
"This article discusses a particular project that attempted to make art-historical research evocative as well as analytical by employing rich, interactive multi-media. This reliance on evocative material extended techniques practiced by television drama-documentaries and considered their legitimacy and potential within academic art history."
[...what might "evocative research" mean?]
3). Esche-Ramshorn, Christiane and Stanislav Roudavski (2012). "Evocative Research in Art History and Beyond: Imagining Possible Pasts in the Ways to Heaven Project", Digital Creativity, 23, 1, pp. 1-21
"Central to Michael Polanyi's thinking was the belief that creative acts (especially acts of discovery) are shot-through or charged with strong personal feelings and commitments (hence the title of his most famous work Personal Knowledge). Arguing against the then dominant position that science was somehow value-free, Michael Polanyi sought to bring into creative tension a concern with reasoned and critical interrogation with other, more 'tacit', forms of knowing.
Polanyi's argument was that the informed guesses, hunches and imaginings that are part of exploratory acts are motivated by what he describes as 'passions'. They might well be aimed at discovering 'truth', but they are not necessarily in a form that can be stated in propositional or formal terms. As Michael Polanyi (1967: 4) wrote in The Tacit Dimension, we should start from the fact that 'we can know more than we can tell'. He termed this pre-logical phase of knowing as 'tacit knowledge'. Tacit knowledge comprises a range of conceptual and sensory information and images that can be brought to bear in an attempt to make sense of something (see Hodgkin 1991). Many bits of tacit knowledge can be brought together to help form a new model or theory. This inevitably led him to explore connoisseurship and the process of discovery (rather than with the validation or refutation of theories and models - in contrast with Popper, for example)."
(Mark K. Smith 2003, infed.org)
Smith, M. K. (2003) 'Michael Polanyi and tacit knowledge', the encyclopedia of informal education, www.infed.org/thinkers/polanyi.htm.
Hodgkin, R. (1991) 'Michael Polanyi - Prophet of life, the universe and everything' Times Higher Educational Supplement, September 27, page 15.
Polanyi, Michael (1967) The Tacit Dimension, New York: Anchor Books. (108 + xi pages). Based on the 1962 Terry lectures (Yale) this book provides an overview of tacit knowledge. He looks at tacit knowing, emergence and the significance of a society of explorers.