Abstract

For many years practicing artists and designers, as well as design researchers, have struggled to find useful models for their creative work. To understand this struggle, we will use a model that gives intellectual strength and direction to research and creative projects, offering an alternative to other approaches such as Design Science, Dialectic and Rhetoric. The strategy is called Productive Science or Poetics, and it is a way of focusing and understanding the struggle of a practicing artist or designer as he or she seeks to develop creative work. There are three central features of the strategy: the identification of the essential functional elements of design; the exploration of those elements with an appropriate degree of precision; and the integration of those functional elements in design and artistic practice. The exploration of the elements is the process of designing: phases of analysis and synthesis in concrete production, with reflection on the implications and principles that emerge in the course of creative work. The goal of this paper is to explore the potential and significance of Productive Science as a strategy of inquiry in design practice and design research. I will illustrate the importance of this strategy with a concrete example drawn from my own practice-based design research. The deepest hypothesis of my work was that perception, meaning, and emotional expression work together in creating a unity or wholeness in the products of design and in the experience of the people supported by such products. Exploring this hypothesis in the different stages of the analysis and synthesis is what this research was about.

Keywords:

Poetics, Productive Science, Experience, Perception, Emotions, Unity, Design Practice, Aesthetics/Acoustics

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Jul 7th, 12:00 AM

Poetics as a Strategy of Inquiry: Productive Science in Design Practice and Research

For many years practicing artists and designers, as well as design researchers, have struggled to find useful models for their creative work. To understand this struggle, we will use a model that gives intellectual strength and direction to research and creative projects, offering an alternative to other approaches such as Design Science, Dialectic and Rhetoric. The strategy is called Productive Science or Poetics, and it is a way of focusing and understanding the struggle of a practicing artist or designer as he or she seeks to develop creative work. There are three central features of the strategy: the identification of the essential functional elements of design; the exploration of those elements with an appropriate degree of precision; and the integration of those functional elements in design and artistic practice. The exploration of the elements is the process of designing: phases of analysis and synthesis in concrete production, with reflection on the implications and principles that emerge in the course of creative work. The goal of this paper is to explore the potential and significance of Productive Science as a strategy of inquiry in design practice and design research. I will illustrate the importance of this strategy with a concrete example drawn from my own practice-based design research. The deepest hypothesis of my work was that perception, meaning, and emotional expression work together in creating a unity or wholeness in the products of design and in the experience of the people supported by such products. Exploring this hypothesis in the different stages of the analysis and synthesis is what this research was about.

 

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