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15 JUNE 2012

Managing interdisciplinarity: a discussion of the contextual review in design research

"Although the debate about disciplinary status has not interrupted the production of innovative design research, as a relatively recent member of academia's 'tribes and territories' (Becher 1989) design is still establishing its disciplinary characteristics as a general research field and a set of specialist sub–fields. There is, for instance, some debate about whether design scholarship should include creative practice and reflection (for a sample of contrasting positions see Bayazit 2004; Downton 2001; Durling 2002; Roth 1999). Since a majority of design issues originate in everyday life individual design research questions are unlikely to fit specific disciplinary boundaries, the idea that design research definitively engages with multiple fields and literatures being widely acknowledged (Poggenpohl et al 2004). These considerations have contributed to the debate as to whether design research should conform to established models from the sciences and humanities or develop its own integral approaches. We suggest, however, that a greater focus on design's applied nature and inherent interdisciplinarity could profitably overtake the quest for disciplinary clarity."

(Carolyn Barnes and Gavin Melles, 2007)

1). Proceedings of 'Emerging Trends in Design Research', the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) Conference, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, 12–15 November 2007

TAGS

academiaacademic disciplines • applied design research • applied nature of design • applied research • Barbel Tress • Carolyn Barnes • contextual frameworks • contextual review • contextualised application • creative practice and reflection • cross-disciplinary • David Durling • design issuesdesign research • design research questions • design scholarshipdisciplinary boundaries • disciplinary characteristics • disciplinary clarity • disciplinary status • Ernest Boyer • established models • everyday life • Gary Fry • Gavin Melles • general research field • Gunther Tress • higher education • Hilla Becher • IASDR • industry-oriented knowledge • innovative design research • intellectual challenge • interdisciplinarityinterdisciplinary knowledgeInternational Association of Societies of Design Researchknowledgeknowledge production • methods and principles • Mode 1Mode 2 • Mode 2 knowledge production • multifaceted social situations • multiple fields • multiple research fields • narrative case studies • Nigan Bayazit • non-disciplinary knowledge • orthodox disciplinary knowledge • Peter Downton • Praima Chayutsahakij • professional doctorate • reflexive knowledge • researchresearch students • research supervisors • review of literatureRichard Buchanansciences and humanities • set of specialist sub-fields • Sharon Poggenpohl • situated knowledge • sources of knowledge • Susan Roth • Swinburne University of Technology • tribes and territories • vocational foundations

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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