Research Reading #2

25 Jan

Investigation Design: A Review of Forty Years of Design Research

By: Nigan Bayazit

What is Design Research?

  • Design research is systematic inquiry whose goal is knowledge of, or in, the embodiment of configuration, composition, structure, purpose, value, and meaning in man-made things and systems
  • Design research tries to answer the obligation of design to the hummanities
    • concerned with the physical embodiment of man made things, how these perform their job and how they work
    • concerned with construction as a human activity, how designers work, how they think and how they carry out design activities
    • concerned with what is achieved at the end of design activity, how artificial thing appears and what it means
    • embodiment of configurations
    • it’s a systematic search and acquisition of knowledge related to design and design activity
  • Objectives of design research are the study, research, and investigation of artificial things made by humans and the way these activities have been directed either in academic studies or manufacturing organizations
  • “sciences of the artificial”
  • All design reports are related to the past activity or history of the subject area under study
  • Studies in the present are also related to the past because it’s needed to prove its roots

Role of Design Methods in Design Research

  • After WWII, new techniques that had been used in the design and development of arms and wartime equipment, and the methods & techniques used in many new inventions attracted many designers
  • Creative methods were developed mainly in the U.S in response to launch of the first satellite
  • SPUTNIK: caused Americans to free money to do research on creativity
  • During 1960s, became evident that designers could no longer rely on ability to focus on product as center of task
  • Technological advances and mass production made interest go from hardware to human needs

First Generation Design Methods

  • influence of systems analysis and systems theory on design established the grounds for the foundation of “systematic design methods”
  • Book “Systematic Methods for Designers”: based on critical path analysis, a model of operations research & gives design research methods (pioneering examples of design methods and scientific approaches)
  • Design methods people were looking at rational methods of incorporating scientific techniques and knowledge into the design process to make rational decisions to adapt to the prevailing values, something that was not always easy to achieve
  • The post war diminished male labour force was a very important influence, and required new production methods, and new designs to meet the new needs of the society in Europe and the U.S
  • Design Methods group was established in University of California, Berkeley, and began to publish a newsletter called Design Methods Group  Newsletter
  • Held a conference: first to provide a format for researchers to present their current work for evaluation from their peers, second, to encourage dialogue between the researchers and practitioners who are interested in the application of their work
  • In the 70s, two pioneers (Christopher Alexander & )  of design methodology announced a manifesto against the design methodology of the era
  • First generation turned into an academic subculture

Second generation Design Methods

  • 1st gen design methods were simplistic, not matured enough, and not capable of meeting the requirements of the real world problems
  • Horst: proposed new argumentative methods as 2nd gen design methods
  • his methods “argumentative method” and IBIS (Issue Based Information System) were identification methods
  • Characteristics: user involvement in design decisions and the identification of their objectives

Development of Scientific Research Design


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