Design Research: History, Theory, Practice - Histories for Future-focused Thinking









Design Research is Alive and Kicking... 

Paul A. Rodgers, Joyce Yee

Lancaster University, Northumbria University

Keywords: design research; practice; interdisciplinary, plurality


This paper explores the current situation of design research with a particular emphasis on how emerging forms of design research are framing and addressing contemporary global issues. The paper examines how design research can be a creative and transformative force in helping to shape our lives in more responsible, sustainable, and meaningful ways. Today, the plurality in design research is clearly evident given the wide range of conceptual, methodological, technological and theoretical approaches adopted. Moreover, various forms of design research now routinely appear in a vast array of disciplines in and around modern design praxis, including business, engineering, computing, and healthcare. This paper reviews a rich selection of the state-of-the-art design research that exemplify the range of approaches, methods, applications, and collaborations prevalent in emerging forms of design research and presents 10 characteristics of ‘good’ design research that will support design researchers in addressing the complex global issues we face. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Rodgers, P., Yee, J.  (2016). Design Research is Alive and Kicking... Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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