Download Design Research Now: Essays and Selected Projects by Ralf Michel (auth.), Ralf Michel (eds.) PDF

By Ralf Michel (auth.), Ralf Michel (eds.)

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Sample text

It is the connections, not what is connected, that signifies a strategy. Better understanding of what is connected and why it is significantly connected is the goal of inquiry – the goal toward which the three strategies offer alternative approaches. As connections are explored in research, the inquiry becomes progressively more tactical and may involve a wide variety of particular methods and techniques that are shared by different investigators. Indeed, the strategies guide the use of methods and techniques that may be common to many or all forms of design and design research.

Researchers from psychology or computer science, for example, have tended to assume that there is ‘nothing special’ about design as an activity for investigation, that it is just another form of ‘problem solving’ or ‘information processing’. However, developments in artificial intelligence and other computer modelling in design have perhaps served mainly to demonstrate just how high-level and complex is the cognitive ability of designers, and how much more research is needed to understand it. Better progress seems to be made by designer-researchers, and for this reason the recent growth of conferences, workshops and symposia, featuring a new generation of designer-researchers, is proving extremely useful in developing the methodology of design research.

34] He found many similarities in their ways of working, and also some differences. For example, some of the architects prefer to generate a range of alternative solution concepts, while others will focus on a narrow range or just one concept. Something they all seem to have is an ability to work along ‘parallel lines of thought’ – that is, to maintain an openness, even an ambiguity, about features and aspects of the design at different levels of detail, and to consider these levels simultaneously, as the designing proceeds.

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