Are we there yet? Insights to support the use of reflective practice methods for explorative practice-led doctoral research into real-world design problems

Young, Robert and Spencer, Nick (2009) Are we there yet? Insights to support the use of reflective practice methods for explorative practice-led doctoral research into real-world design problems. In: 8th International Conference of the European Academy Of Design, 1-3 April 2009, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

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Abstract

This paper concerns the use of design thinking in practice-led doctoral design research. It examines methodological appropriateness for research through design. Much practice-led design research begins with the aim of improving knowledge and understanding for design practitioners involved in real-world problem-solving. However this can be compromised in both its applicability and/or relevance as the context of the practice or the articulation of the theory/practice relationship becomes esoteric to those other than design theorists. It is our observation, as supervisors and examiners of Design PhD students, that practice-led design researchers often get caught up in a research paradigm and process that reduces their project to a post-hoc rationalisation of the problem, the methodology and resulting knowledge; creating an output that alienates the intended primary audience. This paper examines methodological appropriateness for practice-led design research. It is based on a correlation of critical literature and reflection on several practice-led doctoral design projects. It considers the theoretical frameworks and research processes to support exploratory practice-led design research by expert designers. It argues that for this type of research the research question(s) and research design should co-evolve in order to generate new insight and understanding of future design directions; documenting this evolution forms a vital element of the research content.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Design > Design
Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Design > Design
Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Design > Design
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2011 11:27
Last Modified: 30 May 2017 05:52
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1765

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