Abstract

Design research is an academic issue and increasingly an essential success factor for industrial, organizational and social innovation. The fierce rejection of 1st generation design methods in the early 1970s resulted in the postmodernist attitude of ""no methods"", and subsequently, after more than a decade, in the strong adoption of scientific methods, or ""the"" scientific method, for design research. The current situation regarding methodology is characterized by unproductive dualisms such as scientific methods vs. designerly methods, normative methods vs. descriptive methods, research vs. design. The potential of the early (1st generation) methods is neglected and the practical usefulness of design research is impeded. The suggestion for 2nd generation methods as discussed by Rittel and others has hardly been taken up in design. The development of a methodological tool / medium for research through design – MAPS – (which is the central part of the paper) presents the cause and catalyst for some reflections about the usability / desirability / usefulness of methodical support for the design (research) process.

Keywords:

Integrative Design Research Medium, Research Through Design, MAPS, Methodology

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Jul 16th, 12:00 AM

Beyond Dualisms in Methodology: An Integrative Design Research Medium "MAPS" and some Reflections

Design research is an academic issue and increasingly an essential success factor for industrial, organizational and social innovation. The fierce rejection of 1st generation design methods in the early 1970s resulted in the postmodernist attitude of ""no methods"", and subsequently, after more than a decade, in the strong adoption of scientific methods, or ""the"" scientific method, for design research. The current situation regarding methodology is characterized by unproductive dualisms such as scientific methods vs. designerly methods, normative methods vs. descriptive methods, research vs. design. The potential of the early (1st generation) methods is neglected and the practical usefulness of design research is impeded. The suggestion for 2nd generation methods as discussed by Rittel and others has hardly been taken up in design. The development of a methodological tool / medium for research through design – MAPS – (which is the central part of the paper) presents the cause and catalyst for some reflections about the usability / desirability / usefulness of methodical support for the design (research) process.

 

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