Design Research Through Practice

Design Research Through Practice

From the Lab, Field, and Showroom

1st Edition - September 26, 2011

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  • Authors: Ilpo Koskinen, John Zimmerman, Thomas Binder, Johan Redstrom, Stephan Wensveen
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123855039
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780123855022

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Design Research Through Practice: From the Lab, Field, and Showroom focuses on one type of contemporary design research known as constructive design research. It looks at three approaches to constructive design research: Lab, Field, and Showroom. The book shows how theory, research practice, and the social environment create commonalities between these approaches. It illustrates how one can successfully integrate design and research based on work carried out in industrial design and interaction design. The book begins with an overview of the rise of constructive design research, as well as constructive research programs and methodologies. It then describes the logic of studying design in the laboratory, design ethnography and field work, and the origins of the Showroom and its foundation on art and design rather than on science or the social sciences. It also discusses the theoretical background of constructive design research, along with modeling and prototyping of design items. Finally, it considers recent work in Lab that focuses on action and the body instead of thinking and knowing. Many kinds of designers and people interested in design will find this book extremely helpful.

Key Features

  • Gathers design research experts from traditional lab science, social science, art, industrial design, UX and HCI to lend tested practices and how they can be used in a variety of design projects
  • Provides a multidisciplinary story of the whole design process, with proven and teachable techniques that can solve both academic and practical problems
  • Presents key examples illustrating how research is applied and vignettes summarizing the key how-to details of specific projects


Researchers in product development in global companies and students and researchers in design universities. Engineering and software students taking a more practical orientation towards innovation as well as media and business students

Table of Contents

  • Foreword



    1. Constructive Design Research

    1.1. Beyond Research Through Design

    1.2. Constructive Research in Design Research

    1.3. What Is “Design”?

    1.4. Industrial Design and Interaction Design

    1.5. Design Research in Second Modernity

    2. The Coming of Age of Constructive Design Research

    2.1. The User-Centered Turn: Searching the Middle Way

    2.2. Beyond the User

    2.3. Between Engineering, Science, Design, and Art

    3. Research Programs

    3.1. Some Features of Constructive Research Programs

    3.2. Imagination as a Step to Preferred Situations

    3.3. Making Imagination Tangible: Workshops and Studios in Research

    3.4. How Constructive Design Research Produces Meaning

    3.5. Toward Socially Robust Knowledge

    4. Lab

    4.1. Rich Interaction: Building a Tangible Camera

    4.2. Laboratory as a Site of Knowledge

    4.3. Experimental Control

    4.4. Physical Hypotheses and Design

    4.5. Design, Theory, and Real-World Relevance

    4.6. From Lab to Society: The Price of Decontextualization

    4.7. Program at the Junction

    5. Field

    5.1. Vila Rosário: Reframing Public Health in a Favela

    5.2. Understanding as the Basis of Design

    5.3. Exploring Context with Props

    5.4. Generating Concepts as Analysis

    5.5. Evaluation Turns into Research: Following Imaginations in the Field

    5.6. Interpretations as Precedents

    5.7. Co-Design and New Objects

    6. Showroom

    6.1. The Origins of Showroom

    6.2. Agnostic Science

    6.3. Reworking Research

    6.4. Beyond Knowledge: Design for Debate

    6.5. Enriching Communication: Exhibitions

    6.6. Curators and Researchers

    6.7. How Not to Be an Artist

    6.8. Toward Post-Critical Design

    7. How to Work with Theory

    7.1. Acting in the World

    7.2. Lab: From Semantic Perception to Direct Action

    7.3. Field: You Cannot Live Alone

    7.4. Showroom: Design and Culture Under Attack

    7.5. Frameworks and Theories

    8. Design Things

    8.1. User Research with Imagination

    8.2. Gaining Firsthand Insights in the Studio

    8.3. Concept Design with Moodboards, Mock-ups, and Sketches

    8.4. Prototyping

    8.5. Platforms: Taking Design into the Field

    8.6. Design Things in Research

    9. Constructive Design Research in Society

    9.1. Luotain

    9.2. Researchers as Peers

    9.3. Research Faces Design Traditions

    9.4. New Bauhauses: Digital and Electronic

    9.5. Meet the Business

    9.6. Embracing the Public Good

    9.7. Constructive Design Research in Society

    10. Building Research Programs

    10.1. Beyond Rationalism

    10.2. Contribution and Knowledge

    10.3. How to Build Research Programs

    10.4. Inspirations and Programs

    10.5. Research Programs and Methodologies

    10.6. The Quest for a Big Context



Product details

  • No. of pages: 224
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Morgan Kaufmann 2011
  • Published: September 26, 2011
  • Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123855039
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780123855022

About the Authors

Ilpo Koskinen

John Zimmerman

Thomas Binder

Johan Redstrom

Stephan Wensveen

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