Lab, Field, Showroom: Constructive Design Research
25th November 2010, 14:30
Room B551, Télécom ParisTech - 46 rue Barrault Paris 13 - Metro Corvisart Entrée libre et gratuite. (how to get there ?)
This research looks at three ways in which people integrate doing design into research. Design refers explicitly to the art and design school tradition of design, with a focus on capturing vague hunches and cultural constructs, and turning them into products and systems. In the main, the book looks at industrial and interaction design, relating their growth to what the Italian designer Andrea Branzi once called "second modernity." This research has evolved from tiny beginnings into stable presence in industrial and interaction design, and is gaining importance in service design and design for sustainability.
These ways are called lab, field and showroom. Lab refers to traditional laboratory settings, in which researchers build designs and test them in laboratories. Field refers to work that builds on interpretive social sciences and professional design practice instead: designs are built on fieldwork observations, and they are studied in naturalistic settings. Showroom builds on art and design world practices, rejecting scientific ethos and building on artistic methods in early research, analysis, and communication as well.
The book does not stop here. It also analyzes how these ways converge in some key points. The first convergence is that they reject rationalistic, system theory based frameworks that have dominated design research since the sixties. Instead, they build on what can loosely be called post-Cartesian approaches in philosophy, social science, and art. The second convergence is that they build explicitly on design practice in methods. These cover the whole research process, ranging from early stage explorations to idea creation and from design (building mock-ups and prototypes) all the way to studying these designs. The third set of convergencies looks at some of the resulting confusions between research and design practice: the role of studios, classroom practice, and research as it is understood in various contexts of design practice.
The book will be finished early 2011, and it is aimed at advanced students and doctoral students of design, design teachers, professionals in corporations, and leading design agencies. In disciplinary terms, it is aimed at people in design schools and in technical universities. The publisher is Morgan Kaufman of San Francisco. The book is schedules to be in shops in September 2011. This is a group effort: Koskinen is the main writer, but writes with prof. Thomas Binder from Danish School of Design, PhD Johan Redström from Sweden's Interactive Institute, PhD Stephan Wensveen from Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, and prof. John Zimmerman from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Dr. Ilpo Koskinen is the former head of the Industrial Design department at Aalto University School of Art and Design UIAH (commonly known commonly as TaiK) (Helsinki, Finland) and is currently on leave from his position at TaiK to write a book, and is spending some time at the School of Design to do research. The new book will be called Lab, Field, Showroom: How to Research Through Design, and will be published by Morgan Kaufmann, September. 2011.