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.