Abstract

This paper discusses notions of critique, post-critique, speculation and realism, as it reflects through a practice-based design research project, which worked as part of a bigger Danish public innovation program with the involvement of citizens in the design of a new library and cultural house under construction. Specifically, the paper sets out to challenge what seems to be a dichotomous “either-or” thinking in the descriptions and analyses of practice-based design research projects. Accounts of design research that operates in overlapping landscapes of academia, public sector and business are often depicted as too solution-orientated and therefore not reflexive, too engaged and therefore not analytical or too pragmatic and therefore not speculative. Such dichotomies, the paper argues, tend to obscure the “in-discipline” of much contemporary participatory and constructive design research. The paper seeks to problematize this over-simplification of what it means to engage in critical knowledge work, as it draws on recent discussions in design research, science and technology studies and feminist techno science.

Keywords:

post-critique; critique; practice-based participatory research; feminism

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

Critique and Post-Critique in Social Innovation Projects: between speculation and realism

This paper discusses notions of critique, post-critique, speculation and realism, as it reflects through a practice-based design research project, which worked as part of a bigger Danish public innovation program with the involvement of citizens in the design of a new library and cultural house under construction. Specifically, the paper sets out to challenge what seems to be a dichotomous “either-or” thinking in the descriptions and analyses of practice-based design research projects. Accounts of design research that operates in overlapping landscapes of academia, public sector and business are often depicted as too solution-orientated and therefore not reflexive, too engaged and therefore not analytical or too pragmatic and therefore not speculative. Such dichotomies, the paper argues, tend to obscure the “in-discipline” of much contemporary participatory and constructive design research. The paper seeks to problematize this over-simplification of what it means to engage in critical knowledge work, as it draws on recent discussions in design research, science and technology studies and feminist techno science.

 

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