Communicating the Value of Design Research

A write up of this conversation was published in November 2022, you can download it here (there is a local copy here if necessary).

At the 2022 edition of the Design Research Society Conference in Bilbao we hosted a ‘Conversation’ discussing how to communicate the value of Design Research. The premise of our conversation was to imagine a world where Design Research is included in books like ‘Research Methods for Dummies’.

If such a section in a book existed, what would the content be? You can read our proposal for the conversation here.

UPDATE You can read a post-hoc write-up of the Conversation here. (there is a local copy here if necessary).

This proposal builds on the assertion that the world is in need of the unique perspectives Design Research can offer. Moreover, we recognise that while Design Research is ‘alive and kicking’, for newcomers to the field value of Design Research, the distinction between epistemologies, methods, and applications can be hard to disentangle. From this position, we wish to explore the possible future of the field and consider what actions would lead Design Research to becoming more ubiquitous.

Establishing what would best describe Design Research in ‘Research Methods for Dummies’ is more challenging than it might first appear. In the 90 minute Conversation we generated a wide variety of questions and potential answers relating to the topic. Some of those have been captured on our QuBr platform, you can view the relevant questions and answers here. The rest will be summed up in a written report about our conversation which will be published in the near future.

Written by

Dr Joseph Lindley

Joe leads Design Research Works and is a Senior Research Fellow at Lancaster University. He is passionate about the value of Design Research, in particular in applying that value to the challenges associated with emerging technologies, rapid societal change, and living sustainably. Probably best described as a 'generalist' his research practice usually involves material engagements with possible futures.