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PHD-DESIGN  September 2011

PHD-DESIGN September 2011

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Subject:

Re: differences in process between design and other creative disciplines.

From:

"Derek B. Miller" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 21 Sep 2011 11:03:52 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Dear Mike,

Two things:

1. Very interesting question and, once your work is completed  be it an article, a blog, a lecture, etc.  please notify us at The Policy Lab. I'd like to read that because I don't know the answer and I would like to.

2. If I were doing the inquiry, one question I would ask is this: What is the creative act responsible to? 

One ostensibly creates purposefully. There is something deliberate about it, which differentiates it from playing. Play may be part of a creative process (probably is) but there is some aspiration for the creative act to result in a creation. Play is merely process. With this in mind, the act of creation must be responsible to something by way of it being a performance. And that performance can be judged. So in my work, we are advancing work on "strategic design" which for us means design that is anchored in evidence and strategically oriented. So the "design" (that which is produced and provides instruction) is both grounded and responsible to strategic goals. This provides structure and parameters for the design process that are quite serious. It also provides grounds for judging the performance of design, and the quality of design itself, through post-hoc evaluation.

Not all design needs to be either anchored in evidence, nor do creative acts need to be strategically oriented. But some do, and those in public policy  we argue  certainly do because of the social consequences and imperatives to be cautious with the employment of power.

So that suggests a criteria to consider. Again, what is the creative act responsible to? And on answering this, do different forms, practices or meanings of creative activity emerge and cluster based on differences that are stable and worth noting? In your example, what is similar and what is different about writing a song and  for example  designing a security solution for a community suffering from rising criminality? Both are creative acts (one can only hope ), and MUST share some similarity. What's the same and what's different?

I have no idea (but could speculate for hours). 

But it seems an interesting question to ask empirically, and a good way to move beyond "design thinking" as a rubric and buzz word into the real questions of what "designing" is vis-a-vis other creative activities.

Just a thought.

d.
_________________
Dr. Derek B. Miller
Director

The Policy Lab
321 Columbus Ave.
Seventh Floor of the Electric Carriage House
Boston, MA 02116
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Phone
+1 617 440 4409
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@Policylabtweets
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This e-mail includes proprietary and confidential information belonging to The Policy Lab, Ltd. All rights reserved.

On Sep 21, 2011, at 1:30 AM, McAuley, Mike wrote:

> Hi Terry,
> At the moment my net is cast very wide and is all encompassing. To describe where I am at in analogical terms, I have just begun sketching and thumbnailing. I am essentially just scoping at the moment. So there is no unease for me at this point in time to be excluding any areas considered to be within the field of design. So, if the differences are in the details, I may well find them. Perhaps, at a certain level I will be able to argue that, for example, the process of writing a song is the same as visually illustrating a text. Although, already I am discovering that, because I can't 'see' musical ideas, my process is very kinaesthetic, the sounds have to exist in reality, not in my head.
> 
> Mike
> 
> Dr. MIKE MCAULEY
> SENIOR LECTURER, SUBJECT DIRECTOR,
> ILLUSTRATION
> Institute of Communication Design
> College of Creative Arts
> Massey University
> Museum Building
> Buckle Street
> Wellington
> http://creative.massey.ac.nz<http://creative.massey.ac.nz/>
> ________________________________
> 
> (04) 801 5799 ext 62461
> (04 027 357 8799
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Sep 21, 2011, at 11:22 AM, Terence Love wrote:
> 
> Hi Mike,
> Are you also including engineering design and software design in your
> 'creative disciplines'?
> Terry
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related
> research in Design [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of McAuley,
> Mike
> Sent: Wednesday, 21 September 2011 6:45 AM
> To: Dr Terence Love
> Subject: differences in process between design and other creative
> disciplines.
> 
> I would be interested to know if anyone is doing work which seeks to
> establish differences in process between design and other creative
> disciplines such as music. Obviously outcomes/artefacts are different, but
> are the processes the same?  If they are indeed the same, then why do we
> differentiate the design process from the creative process? Questions,
> questions.This is my new, post PhD research direction and one which I seek
> to partly pursue through my own creative practice as a musician and
> illustrator. In my previous work I used Swann's (2002) design process model
> to help describe the processes of my illustration students when they
> interpreted written text into illustrations. Here is the link to the thesis
> if anyone is interested.http://mro.massey.ac.nz/handle/10179/1046
> 
> Creative practice as research method is a new venture for me, but I do think
> that having undergone the rigours of a traditional PhD I may now be in a
> position to develop verifiable knowledge. If I don't, well I'm going to have
> a ball writing songs and painting! [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> 
> Mike
> 
> Dr. MIKE MCAULEY
> SENIOR LECTURER, SUBJECT DIRECTOR,
> ILLUSTRATION
> Institute of Communication Design
> College of Creative Arts
> Massey University
> Museum Building
> Buckle Street
> Wellington
> http://creative.massey.ac.nz<http://creative.massey.ac.nz/>
> ________________________________
> 
> (04) 801 5799 ext 62461
> (04 027 357 8799

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