"We differentiate research artifacts from design practice artifacts in two important ways. First, the intent going into the research is to produce knowledge for the research and practice communities, not to make a commercially viable product. To this end, we expect research projects that take this research through design approach will ignore or deemphasize perspectives in framing the problem, such as the detailed economics associated with manufacturability and distribution, the integration of the product into a product line, the effect of the product on a company’s identity, etc. In this way design researchers focus on making the right things, while design practitioners focus on making commercially successful things.
Second, research contributions should be artifacts that demonstrate significant invention. The contributions should be novel integrations of theory, technology, user need, and context; not just refinements of products that already exist in the research literature or commercial markets. The contribution must demonstrate a significant advance through the integration. This aspect of a design research contribution makes particular sense in the interaction design space of HCI. Meteoric technological advances in hardware and software drive an aggressive invention of novel products in HCI and interaction design domains that are not as aggressively experienced by other design domains. While product designers might find themselves redesigning office furniture to meet the changing needs of work, interaction designers more often find themselves tasked with inventing whole new product categories.
Our model of design research allows interaction design researchers to do what designers do best: to study the world and then to make things intended to affect change. Our model provides a new channel for the power of design thinking, desired by many disciplines, to be unleashed as in a research context. Design researchers can contribute from a position of strength, instead of aping the methods of other disciplines as a means of justifying their research contribution."
(John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, Shelley Evenson, p.500, 2007)
John Zimmerman, Jodi Forlizzi, and Shelley Evenson (2007). "Research through design as a method for interaction design research in HCI". In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI '07). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 493-502. DOI=10.1145/1240624.1240704 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1240624.1240704
"Pedagogical experiments played a crucial role in shaping architectural discourse and practice in the second half of the 20th century. In fact, the key hypothesis of our Radical Pedagogy research project is that these experiments can be understood as radical architectural practices in their own right. Radical in the literal meaning from the Latin radice, as something belonging or relating to the root, to its foundations. Radical pedagogies shake foundations, disturbing assumptions rather than reinforcing and disseminating them. This challenge to normative thinking was a major force in the postwar field of architecture, and has surprisingly been neglected in recent years. ...
Architectural pedagogy has become stale. Schools spin old wheels as if something is happening but so little is going on. Students wait for a sense of activist engagement with a rapidly evolving world but graduate before it happens. The fact that they wait for instruction is already the problem. Teachers likewise worry too much about their place in the institutional hierarchies. Curricular structures have hardly changed in recent decades, despite the major transformations that have taken place with the growth of globalisation, new technologies, and information culture. As schools appear to increasingly favour professionalisation, they seem to drown in self-imposed bureaucratic oversight, suffocating any possibility for the emergence of experimental practices and failures. There are a few attempts to wake things up here and there but it's all so timid in the end. There is no real innovation.
In response to the timidity of schools today, the Radical Pedagogy project returns to the educational experiments of the 1960s and '70s to remind us what can happen when pedagogy takes on risks. It's a provocation and a call to arms."
(Beatriz Colomina with Esther Choi, Ignacio Gonzalez Galan and Anna-Maria Meister, 28 September 2012, The Architectural Review)
1). Radical Pedagogy is an ongoing multi-year collaborative research project by a team of PhD candidates in the School of Architecture at Princeton University, led by Beatriz Colomina and involving seminars, interviews and guest lectures by protagonists and scholars. The project explores a remarkable set of pedagogical experiments of the 1960s and '70s that revolutionised thinking in the discipline. Each student is working on one of these experiments and collectively mapping the interconnections and effects of these experiments towards a major publication and exhibition.
Fig.1 Tournaments in the Course ‘Culture of the Body', at the Valparaíso School, 1975. Courtesy of Archivo Histórico Jose Vial, Escuela Arquitectura y Diseño, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
"The Reanimating Cultural Heritage project reintroduced these objects to both Sierra Leoneans and a wider audience, thereby creating a platform for future recovery of the Sierra Leone cultural heritage sector. The project, led by Dr Paul Basu, created an innovative digital heritage resource to provide digital access to the Sierra Leonean collections of the project's partner institutions (the British Museum, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow Museums, World Museum Liverpool, the British Library Sound Archive, and the Sierra Leone National Museum). The resulting www.sierraleoneheritage.org resource provides high quality images and enhanced information for over 3,500 Sierra Leonean objects from these museum collections.
Taking seemingly 'lifeless' museum objects, gathering dust in little-visited stores or displays, the project 'reanimated' them digitally by showing them alongside contextualising video, images, sounds and other media, 'reanimating' a traditional mask, for example, through video footage of a masquerade dance performance. The majority of the videos were made by Sierra Leoneans themselves, following participatory videomaking workshops. This ensured that a wide range of Sierra Leonean voices could be heard, from school children to weavers to religious leaders. Through integrating social networking technologies into the resource, visitors are able to comment and engage in dialogue about the objects and associated cultural practices."
(Arts & Humanities Research Council, 04/09/2012)
"research activities should primarily be concerned with research processes, rather than outputs. This definition is built around three key features and your proposal must fully address all of these in order to be considered eligible for support:
It must define a series of research questions, issues or problems that will be addressed in the course of the research. It must also define its aims and objectives in terms of seeking to enhance knowledge and understanding relating to the questions, issues or problems to be addressed
It must specify a research context for the questions, issues or problems to be addressed. You must specify why it is important that these particular questions, issues or problems should be addressed; what other research is being or has been conducted in this area; and what particular contribution this project will make to the advancement of creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in this area
It must specify the research methods for addressing and answering the research questions, issues or problems. You must state how, in the course of the research project, you will seek to answer the questions, address the issues or solve the problems. You should also explain the rationale for your chosen research methods and why you think they provide the most appropriate means by which to address the research questions, issues or problems.
Our primary concern is to ensure that the research we fund addresses clearly-articulated research questions, issues or problems, set in a clear context of other research in that area, and using appropriate research methods and/or approaches.
The precise nature of the research questions, issues or problems, approaches to the research and outputs of the work may vary considerably, embracing basic, strategic and applied research. The research questions, issues, problems, methods and/or approaches may range from intellectual questions that require critical, historical or theoretical investigation, to practical issues or problems that require other approaches such as testing, prototyping, experimental development and evaluation. The outputs of the research may include, for example, monographs, editions or articles; electronic data, including sound or images; performances, films or broadcasts; or exhibitions. Teaching materials may also be an appropriate outcome from a research project provided that it fulfils the definition above.
The research should be conceived as broadly as possible and so consideration should also be given to the outcomes of, and audiences for, the research. The outcomes of the research may only benefit other researchers and influence future research, but consideration must be given to potential opportunities for the transfer of knowledge into new contexts where the research could have an impact.
Creative output can be produced, or practice undertaken, as an integral part of a research process as defined above. The Council would expect, however, this practice to be accompanied by some form of documentation of the research process, as well as some form of textual analysis or explanation to support its position and as a record of your critical reflection. Equally, creativity or practice may involve no such process at all, in which case it would be ineligible for funding from the Council."
(Arts and Humanities Research Council)
"What are your beliefs about how valid knowledge can be obtained? This will influence your approach to your research. If you are a positivist, for example, (who believes that valid knowledge can be obtained through a scientific approach), you are likely to choose a quantitative research method that begins with a theory and tests that theory. If you favour the social constructivist view that meaning is subjective, gained through interactions with others, you would be more likely to choose qualitative research methods that explores themes. Qualitative research is about generating theory and finding patterns of meaning."
(Centre for Academic Development and Quality, Nottingham Trent University)