Geographical metaphors such as ‘landscapes’ and ‘maps’ are often used to describe attempts to make sense of complex situations. From the early days of Design Research Works we had begun wondering how we might represent the landscapes or maps of the world of Design Research.
After thinking about this for a while, and exploring the challenging using our interview box one problem that became obvious is that the world of Design Research is actually inherently ambiguous. Because of this ambiguity it’s really hard for newcomers to find their way around. Experienced practitioners tend to be able to find experts, examples, and methods that they need, but it usually takes several years of experience to build up this internal mental map.
We decided to make this question a core part of our Lab Engagement series and have run a several research workshops trying to understand what an ‘Atlas’ (or, database, repository, or directory) could mean for the world of Design Research.
This project is currently in a generative phase and we are preparing prototype designs for a system to be taken back to the Design Research community for further consultation.
If you would like to discuss contributing to, hosting, or usability/design concepts for the Atlas then please do get in touch.