"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 Allenís 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.
"DESIGNERS ENJOY DESIGNING
The practicalities of the design-based Ph.D (or Ph.D's generally in the creative arts) often fails to recognise the wider needs of the researcher who would typically have bachelors and masters degrees in their field and where the structure of their degree programme(s) would have been practice-based i.e. they have considerable prior history of creative practice; they enjoy creative practice; and they may well miss the fulfilment of creative practice if none was undertaken during a three to five year full time Ph.D.
STUDENTS NEED TUTORS THAT CAN DESIGN
Practice-based learning at undergraduate and masters level requires a significant taught input by competent practitioners. It is all too common for academics to loose or fail to develop capability in practice as they move through an academic career that is based on teaching and research. The typical route by which full-time academics with a practitioner background acquire a Ph.D is through part-time study. In order to maintain competence as a practitioner for the benefit of students, there is a case to encourage the use of practice in staff Ph.D's.
RESEARCH OUTCOMES NEED DESIGNING
An unexpected outcome from the author's experience of Ph.D supervision in creative disciplines has been the scenario where professional practice was necessary for the progress of the research. 'Tools' are a popular and relevant outcome from design-based Ph.D's and situations arise where the tool itself must be designed in order to facilitate its validation. It is therefore necessary to consider the use of researcher-practice where practice is not a direct means of the data collection but a process by which research outcomes can progress to validation."
(Mark Evans, p.75, 2009)
Evans, M. (2009). "Creative professional practice in methods and methodology: case study examples from Ph.Dís in industrial design". EKSIG 2009: Experiential Knowledge, Method & Methodology, Experiential Knowledge Special Interest Group.
By Marsha Vdovin and Ron MacLeod for Cycling '74.
"'Digital humanities is not a unified field but an array of convergent practices that explore a universe in which print is no longer the exclusive or the normative medium in which knowledge is produced and/or disseminated.'
Thus begins the Digital Humanities Manifesto a document originally authored by Todd Presner (UCLA) and Jeffrey Schnapp (Stanford), for the Mellon Seminars in Digital Humanities."
(David Green, 15 June 2009, Academic Commons)
"Brazilian design graduate Jorge Lopes Dos Santos has developed a way of making physical models of foetuses using data from ultrasound, CT and MRI scans.
He developed the project in collaboration with a paediatric cardiologist at Imperial College while studying on the Design Products MA course at London's Royal College of Art.
Jorge Lopes Dos Santos hopes the models, which are made using 3D printing techniques, can be used to train doctors and to help with emotional support for parents whose child may be born with deformities."
(Dezeen, 16 July 2009)