Welcome back Tim
Your post prompted me to share a thought that has been recurring in me as I follow this thread.
Over the years I've found the on-going discussion about the relationship between design and research interesting. My own experience of a shift from doing design in an industrial context (for industry) to doing design in an academic context (for research) led me recently to use the phrase 'design in the service of research' as a result of my PhD experience and now as I aspire to academic research. Prior to starting a PhD in 2004, I did 'design in the service of industry' as a graphic design practitioner.
I have found this a useful way to frame a position that identifies the same activity of designing changed by a different context and set of demands. Perhaps this is simply another way of saying 'design for research' but I do think it elevates research rather than placing design on the same level, which is what many who contribute to the debate seem to want to do, especially those who I have observed argue for art practice as research rather than in the service of research. In such cases their identity as an artist is more important than their identity as a researcher. Professional identity is often at the heart of the matter in such cases.
I'd be interested to know if anyone has used this emphasis – design in the service of research – for differentiating the relationship. I haven't written about this myself, but it seems to be a useful way to explain the dilemma you are trying to deal with.
As an aside, in my PhD I listed (and included definitions where possible) for the following variations on the relationship between art, design, practice and research. Some may find this list useful, and it may be worth adding to as a useful resource for list members:
Practice through research
Practice as research
(Biggs and Buchler, 2008: 5)
Research into art and design
Research through art and design
Research for art and design
Practice through research
Research INTO Design
Research FOR Design
Research THROUGH Design
Research by Design:
Design-oriented research and research-oriented design
(Sevaldson, 2010: 10–12)
Biggs, M., and 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, 1993/4. Researh in art and design. London: Royal College of Art.
Sevaldson, B 2010, Discussions and movements in design research,. FORMakademisk, 3, 8–35
Harland, RG (2011) Graphic design as urban design: towards a theory for analysing graphic objects in urban environments. https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/handle/2134/10050
Dr Robert Harland | Lecturer | Learning & Teaching Coordinator for School of the Arts | School of the Arts, English and Drama | Loughborough University | Recent publications | Harland, R. G., 2012. Towards an integrated pedagogy of graphics in the United Kingdom. Iridescent: Icograda Journal of Design Research, 2012, 2 (1). https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/handle/2134<https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/handle/2134/11349>
On 27/03/2013 00:40, "Tim Smithers" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
Designers may do good designing, but they do
not do research. At least not what I take research to be.
And whilst designers can and do redefine many aspects of our
lives, and often for the good, it is not a good idea for
designers to try to re-define what doing research is by saying
they do research by design. That just results in confusion.
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