50 Years of Design Research









Design Research for Sustainability: Historic Origin and Development

Astrid Skjerven

Oslo and Akershus University College


Keywords: Design research; Historiography; Multidisciplinarity; Sustainability


The paper presents a historical flashback and analysis of how design research traditions have developed. They have comprised both theoretical and practical methods, and has undergone several stages, with shifting emphasis on the two. Our own era’s belief that it has been mainly based on experience and a discourse through products, is a myth that has created unnecessary barriers towards traditional academic research. The profession has been dominated by a holistic view that combines human culture and the natural environment. The paper demonstrates how design research in a multidisciplinary setting may become a decisive factor in the development of sustainability of culture and environment. 

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

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Cite this paper: Skjerven, A. (2016). Design Research for Sustainability: Historic Origin and Development. 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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