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PHD-DESIGN  March 2013

PHD-DESIGN March 2013

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Subject:

Re: Verification, Falsification, validation, design and wicked problems

From:

Luke Feast <[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, 20 Mar 2013 12:36:58 +1100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Dear Birger,

Thank you for your reply and link to your paper. Yes the paper is extensive
and since I have only had time to look at it briefly I will only make a
short comment concerning your statements about Research by Design. You
write (Sevaldson, 2010, p. 11):

-snip-
*Research THROUGH Design*: Any research were the design practice is central
in generating knowledge.

*Research by Design:* A special research mode where the explorative,
generative and innovative aspects of design are engaged and aligned in a
systematic research inquiry. The definition distinguishes Design practices
in research from other practices... To my mind, this is the most
appropriate term to describe the most central mode of research in the
design fields.
-end snip-

Later on you state (Sevaldson, 2010, p. 13) "The very core of design
research, Research BY Design, produces knowledge by engaging in the
generative, in the act of designing."

Moreover, I believe your description of Research by Design is more or
less consistant with Frayling's (1993, p. 5, emphasis in the
original) description of Research for Art and Design:

-snip-
“The thorny one is Research *for* Art and Design, research with a small
'r'... Research where the end product is an artifact - where the thinking
is, so to speak, *embodied in the artifact*, where the goal is not
primarily communicable knowledge in the sense of verbal communication, but
in the sense of visual or iconic or imagistic communication.”
-end snip-

Frayling (1993, p. 1) defines research with a small r, from the Oxford
English Dictionary as “the act of searching, closely or carefully, for or
after a specified thing or person” and elaborates, “it isn’t about
professionalism, or rules, or guidelines, or laboratories”. In contrast, he
associates research with a “big R” with the professionalization of research
in the university sector.

It seems to me that your description of Research by Design as "a special
research mode" distinguished from other practices (and I assume this
includes research practices too), and it's similarity to Frayling's
definition of Research for Art and Design as a form of research with a
small 'r' ("the act of searching" that produces an artifact as opposed to
professional university research), places the work of Research by Design in
an Isolationist relationship to other disciplines and university faculties
(Biggs, 2008, p. 6).

I do not believe that Research by Design is very core of design research,
rather it is (perhaps) part of one of many research programmes. As I stated
in my previous post, due to its Isolationist position, I believe that if
one takes a long term view of the growth of scientific knowledge, then
the Research by Design research programme is more likely to be degenerative
than progressive.

warm regards,

Luke


Biggs, M. A. R., & Buchler, D. (2008). Eight criteria for
practice-based research
in the creative and cultural industries. *Art, Design & **Communication in
Higher Education*, 7 (1), 5-18.

Frayling, C. (1993) Research in art and design. *Royal College of Art
Research Papers, *1*, *1-5.

Sevaldson, B., (2010). Discussions & Movements in Design Research: A
systems approach to practice research in design. FORM*akademisk, *3 (1),
8-35




-- 

Luke Feast | Early Career Development Fellow | PhD Candidate | Faculty of
Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia |
[log in to unmask] | Ph: +61 3 9214 6165 |
http://www.swinburne.edu.au/design/


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