Abstract

Design research has historically focused upon collocated design practices where the production of artefacts, collaboration between designers, and designers’ learning practices are geographically bounded. Information and communication technologies are rapidly transforming this territorial context of designing and making by supporting designers to share experiential knowledge with peers online. But it is unclear how experiential design knowledge should be characterized, and how it may be different from academic design knowledge. In this study, we present a mixed-methods analysis to compare experiential design knowledge communicated in two online practitioner- oriented venues and two leading design research journals. We found that the articulation of experiential academic knowledge unsurprisingly differs in multiple linguistic measurements such as patterns of word usage and language formality. However, we also found that these distinctions are not absolute; in certain instances of online argumentation, practicing designers are able to effectively discipline their language use with the purpose of articulation and accuracy. We argue for increased attention to the ways in which online discussions regarding design practices contribute to the construction of design knowledge.

Keywords:

experiential knowledge; academic knowledge; online design practice; linguistic analysis

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Distinctions Between the Communication of Experiential and Academic Design Knowledge: a linguistic analysis

Design research has historically focused upon collocated design practices where the production of artefacts, collaboration between designers, and designers’ learning practices are geographically bounded. Information and communication technologies are rapidly transforming this territorial context of designing and making by supporting designers to share experiential knowledge with peers online. But it is unclear how experiential design knowledge should be characterized, and how it may be different from academic design knowledge. In this study, we present a mixed-methods analysis to compare experiential design knowledge communicated in two online practitioner- oriented venues and two leading design research journals. We found that the articulation of experiential academic knowledge unsurprisingly differs in multiple linguistic measurements such as patterns of word usage and language formality. However, we also found that these distinctions are not absolute; in certain instances of online argumentation, practicing designers are able to effectively discipline their language use with the purpose of articulation and accuracy. We argue for increased attention to the ways in which online discussions regarding design practices contribute to the construction of design knowledge.

 

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