Abstract

Through the lens of a Rehabilitation Living Lab, this paper presents what happens when researchers work with managers and users in the design situation of an urban commercial complex. This multi-sectorial and interdisciplinary research project brings together over 45 researchers to explore issues of social inclusion and social participation of people with disabilities, as they arrive and use the shopping complex. Within the context of a Living Lab, researchers implement various research projects from diverse research paradigms and methodological perspectives. While the research method for the overarching project is within the general framework of participatory action research, all researchers use clinical, basic and experimental forms of research (Friedman, 2003) to move forward the goals and research streams defined at the outset. The research is supported by a parallel design activity with students in a baccalaureate design studio. The overall research project goals and an example of a pilot project are presented in concert with a design studio activity, to consider potential concepts that are research-informed. Discussion of results reveals salient issues that emerge in early findings in pilot studies, and underscores what happens when people from diverse research perspectives work together.

Keywords:

Interdisciplinary research, participatory action research, rehabilitation science, design thinking, universal design

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Users, Stakeholders and Researchers: Dilemmas of Research as Practice and the Role of Design Thinking in the Case Study of a Rehabilitation Living Lab

Through the lens of a Rehabilitation Living Lab, this paper presents what happens when researchers work with managers and users in the design situation of an urban commercial complex. This multi-sectorial and interdisciplinary research project brings together over 45 researchers to explore issues of social inclusion and social participation of people with disabilities, as they arrive and use the shopping complex. Within the context of a Living Lab, researchers implement various research projects from diverse research paradigms and methodological perspectives. While the research method for the overarching project is within the general framework of participatory action research, all researchers use clinical, basic and experimental forms of research (Friedman, 2003) to move forward the goals and research streams defined at the outset. The research is supported by a parallel design activity with students in a baccalaureate design studio. The overall research project goals and an example of a pilot project are presented in concert with a design studio activity, to consider potential concepts that are research-informed. Discussion of results reveals salient issues that emerge in early findings in pilot studies, and underscores what happens when people from diverse research perspectives work together.

 

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