An open-ended discussion about Design Research.
QuBr began in August 2021 with a question: What is Design Research? This deceptively simple question is the first in a branching sequence of contributions, each including (i) an answer to a question and (ii) a new question...
As of April 2023 we are retiring QuBr as an interactive and are freezing the contributions as they stand. We extend a huge thanks to everyone that participated!
You can continue to browse this site and explore the questions and answers. We have also created an alternative prototype interface to explore the hierachy of questions and answers, you can access that over here.
As part of the Design Research Works project, insights we have gathered are informing a range of community-oriented activities in support Design Research in all it's forms.
What does QuBr mean?
QuBr is inspired by the interactive documentary project, Question Bridge, which pioneered the idea of sourcing questions from a community and posing those questions to others in the community - as a way of exploring that community's shared identity. In borrowing this approach, our aim is to connect the extended Design Research community, and facilitate an open-ended discussion about Design Research.
We also like that 'QuBr' sounds like ‘Cuba’, which is said to mean “great place” or “where fertile land is abundant”. Both are good descriptions of the Design Research movement!
Who is behind QuBr?
QuBr is led By Dr Joseph Lindley and Dr David Green. It is part of Design Research Works, a research project, based at Lancaster University, that is dedicated to understanding, exploring and promoting the value of Design Research.
Who is QuBr for?
QuBr is open to anyone. The Design Research community is broad, global, and made up of diverse perspectives. We are seeking to reflect this diversity, as well as being proactively inclusive: If you find any of the questions or answers on the site interesting (you don’t have to agree with them) then it is for you.
What is QuBr trying to achieve?
QuBr is an experiment. We want to see what will happen if we start by asking What is Design Research? Our wider aim is to understand the challenges, questions, and big issues that are important to people in the Design Research community. Through this, we want to help drive the adoption of Design Research. QuBr is intended to be a community-focused way of stimulating and capturing insights into these challenges, questions and issues.
Where do I start?
You can use QuBr by browsing the site, by sharing content, or by contributing. To get started, use the Explore page to browse questions.
Use the 'Question' pages to navigate between questions and answers. To contribute, click 'Respond'.
Do I have to register?
How do I contribute?
If you would like to contribute, please read this information sheet first.
You can contribute in three ways: video, audio and text.
To record video or audio, press the ‘record’ button ( ⬤ ) followed by the ‘save’ button ( 💾 ). To submit a text contribution, type your responses and click the ‘submit’ button.
You will be asked to provide your name, a contact email, and consent for your contribution to be included in the research study. Once you have completed the form, you will be guided back to the home page.
How long are contributions?
The maximum length for audio and video is two minutes. Text contributions can be 200 words.
How will my contribution be used on the QuBr site?
All contributions are moderated (to filter spam) and formatted (to maximise accessibility) before being published (this can take up to 2 days).
For video and audio contributions: We write a short summary of your question and answer, which ensures all questions and answers can be presented on the site in an accessible format.
For audio and text contributions, we generate a video that renders your question and answer in both on-screen text and audio, which ensures all contributions have equal visibility on the site.
Contributions will be integrated into the site, each with a unique URL that can be shared.
Is QuBr anonymous?
Contributions to QuBr are anonymous in the sense that we do not include attributions. However, we do not guarantee anonymity. If you submit video or audio, you may still be recognisable to others. You may choose to identify yourself in the video (for example, you may choose to verbally introduce yourself). You may also claim authorship of a contribution when you share it (e.g. on social media). By contributing to QuBr, you are contributing to the public domain. If you want to participate completely anonymously, please submit a text-only contribution.
You are free to share your name and affiliation within the contribution (e.g. by introducing yourself out loud). You are also welcome to claim ownership of your contribution elsewhere (e.g. by sharing the direct link to it on social media, your own website, etc.)
What else are you going to do with all the contributions?
We may use contributions in other formats as part of Design Research Works. Please refer to the Information Sheet for more details.
Can I re-record my contribution?
Yes - you can easily re-record (or cancel) during the recording process. You can review recordings using the ‘play’ button ( ▶ ) and re-record by pressing the ‘record’ button again - this will overwrite any previously recorded clips. Click the ‘save’ button ( 💾 ) to confirm.
Can I pre-record my contribution?
If you use a mobile device, you can pre-record your video and upload it once you’re happy with it.
Can I change my mind about taking part?
You can withdraw your consent to appear in video / audio on the site at any time. You do not need to provide a reason for this and we will not ask you to provide a reason. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request and a link to the relevant question page. We will replace your audio/video contribution with an anonymous text-only version.
However, it is not possible to withdraw consent for us to use your contribution as part of our research after you have provided consent. The reason for this is that we may publish outputs from this research study at any time from now onwards (i.e. before the end of the project).
Do you have a GDPR/Data Protection Policy?
In simple terms:
When you submit a contribution, you will be asked to provide your name and an email address.
These will not be published, or attached to your contribution in any way. All contributions are published to the site without attribution. We will only ever use your email if we need to contact you about the project. It will never be used for any other reason, or shared with anyone else.
You will also be asked to provide consent for us to use your contribution in our research.
This simply means that we might quote your words or use audio or images from your video in research outputs (e.g. articles, academic papers, booklets) that arise from the project.
The public QuBr website is securely hosted on an EU server.
If you would like your contribution to be removed, please contact us via email and we will remove it.
Please note: Once it has been published, we cannot guarantee that all traces of your contribution will be removed because it will have been released into the public domain.