This paper explores the inherent ambiguity of Design Research. It is a field which is broad and contested. We draw upon interviews with leading Design Researchers and argue that some facets of this ambiguity hamper Design Research’s maturation. This limits the effectiveness of Design to respond to the 21st century’s entwined and complex problems. This work establishes that we may benefit from being clearer about what we mean when we talk about Design Research and explores some strategies for achieving this.

You can download the paper here and here is the accompanying conference presentation.

The interviews this work was based on took place during lockdown using a custom-build portable interview ‘box’, we have published a paper about that project and you can see some clips from the interviews below.

This work became the foundation for what has become our QuBr project (see all posts tagged with QuBr here.)

Written by

Dr David Philip Green

Dave is a Senior Research Associate on the project. He is a Design Researcher with a background in participatory documentary making and Human Computer Interaction. His core role on in Design Research Works is to produce a series of documentary films relating to the world of Design Research.