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Which clippings match 'Testing' keyword pg.1 of 2
21 MARCH 2013

Prototyping in Public Services

"Prototyping in Public Services describes an approach that can be used to help develop new and innovative services by testing ideas out early in the development cycle.

NESTA has produced a guide for policymakers, strategy leads, heads of service, commissioners and anyone else in a public service looking for new methodologies that can help them to better meet the needs of their communities. It sits alongside the Prototyping Framework: A guide to prototyping new ideas which provides examples of activities that can happen at different stages of a prototyping project.

The guide and toolkit are early outputs from our prototyping work and are based on work NESTA and its partners have been doing with several local authorities and third sector organisations. We will continue to learn about prototyping as an approach that can be used to develop public services, through our practical programmes."




commissioners • concept developmentconceptualisation • development cycle • guide • heads of service • local authorities • NESTA • new and innovative services • new ideas • new methodologies • policy makers • practical programmes • project developmentproject workprototyping • Prototyping in Public Services • prototyping project • public services • strategy leads • testing • testing ideas • third sector • third sector organisations • toolkitUK


Simon Perkins
12 FEBRUARY 2013

UK Arts & Humanities Research Council: A Definition of Research

"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)


academic research • accompanying documentation • advancement of creativity • AHRCapplied researchartwork and exegesisbasic researchclinical researchcontribution to knowledge • creative output • critical investigationcritical reflection • definition of research • experimental development • historical investigation • impact and engagement • knowledge and understandingknowledge transfer • new contexts • new insights • problem for action • problems to be addressed • prototyping • record and reflect • research activities • research aims and objectives • research context • research impactresearch methodsresearch outcomeresearch processesresearch projectresearch questions • strategic research • testingtextual analysis • theoretical investigation • transfer of knowledgeUK


Simon Perkins
17 DECEMBER 2012

Invention is the result of creative experimentation and synthesis

"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)



ild a bridge • conceptualisationconstruction techniquescreative processcreativity • design a bridge • design methoddesign process • experiment broadly • experimental enquiryexperimental investigation • experimental research • experimental techniquesexperimental thinkingexperimental workexperimentation • experiments • inventioniterative cycleiterative design processmethods for design practice • potential solutions • right answer • single right answer • synthesise knowledgetestingtheory building • variety of sources • visualising the creative process


Simon Perkins

Dyson: new ways of doing the familiar

"New ideas are the lifeblood of Dyson. Every year, we invest half our profits back into harnessing them at our research and development laboratory in Wiltshire. There are 350 engineers and scientists based there. Thinking, testing, breaking, questioning.

They're a varied bunch, too. Many are design engineers developing new ideas and technology. Then there are specialists who test and improve different aspects of each machine, from the way they sound to what they pick up. Some will have years of experience. Others are fresh out of universities like the Royal College of Art, Brunel or Loughborough."

(Dyson Limited, UK)

Fig.1 Sean Poulter (15th September 2011). "Sci–fi: The bladeless fan heater quickly warms an entire room without any visible moving parts" [–2037565/Get–hot–Dyson–unveils–new–heater–warms–room–using–jet–engine–technology.html], Associated Newspapers Ltd.



applied research • breaking • Brunel University • design and development • design engineers • Dyson • Dyson Air Multiplier • engineersentrepreneurshipeverydayimagineeringinnovationknowledge-based economyLoughborough Universitymachinenew ideasnew technologyquestioningresearch labRoyal College of ArttestingthinkingUK • Wiltshire


Simon Perkins
21 MAY 2011

Effective and evocative research: difference through the form and outcomes of the iterative cycles and the type of feedback that informs the reflective process

"From the differences we have described, it might be assumed that the distinction between effective and evocative research is between the analytical and intuitive. However, it is important to note that, while analysis of the problem and context tends to come first in effective research, as in all research, it is intuition that leads to innovation. And, on the other hand, while evocative research may evolve intuitively through the interests, concerns and cultural preoccupations of the creative practitioner, it is rounded out and resolved by analytical insights.

Because of this combination of the intuitive and analytical, both ends of the spectrum may draw on bodies of theory such as Donald Schön's (1983) theories of reflective practice and principles of tacit knowledge and reflection–in–action, to frame an iterative development process. However, differences can be identified between the form and outcomes of the iterative cycles and the type of feedback that informs the reflective process.

In effective research, an iterative design process may involve an action research model and prototyping (paper prototype, rapid prototype, functional prototype and so on). Each iterative stage is evaluated through user testing by a representative group of end users (through quantitative or qualitative surveys or observations of use, for example). The purpose of this testing is to gauge the artifact's functionality, usability and efficacy. The gathered data informs changes and refinements in each cycle.

On the other hand, an artist might stage a number of preliminary exhibitions, but these are not staged to gather 'data', or to obtain successively closer approximations of a solution to a problem. Instead, they are part of an exploration of unfolding possibilities. Feedback might be sought from respected colleagues, and gathered in an informal setting (in the manner of a peer 'critique'). The purpose of gathering such insights is to allow the artist to reflect upon the project and its evocation and affect and to see their work through the insights of others, which may shed new light on the practice and its possibilities."

(Jillian Hamilton and Luke Jaaniste, 2009)

2). Hamilton, J. and L. Jaaniste (2009). "The Effective and the Evocative: Practice–led Research Approaches Across Art and Design". ACUADS: The Australian Council of University Art & Design Schools, Brisbane, Queensland, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.



action research model • ACUADS • analysisanalytical processart and designartistic practice • Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools • conceptualisationcontextcreative practitioner • cultural preoccupations • data gatheringDonald Schon • effective research • evocative researchexegesisexhibitionsexploration of unfolding possibilitiesfeedbackfine artfunctional prototype • gathering insights • insightintuitionintuitiveiterative design processiterative developmentJillian Hamilton • Luke Jaaniste • observationpaper prototype • peer critique • postgraduate supervisionpractice-led research • problem analysis • prototypingqualitative methods • qualitative surveys • quantitativereflection-in-actionreflective practicereflective processresearch artefactresearch designtacit knowledgetestingtheory buildingvisual arts


Simon Perkins

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