Post-Conference wrap-up: Connecting Dots
Conference Papers are available for download (PDF).
With a theme of RESEARCH, EDUCATION + PRACTICE, there was much discussion about ‘design research’, a broadly used term that has varied interpretations and applications for designers and design educators.
On Thursday, The pre-conference Peer Review workshop (with Sharon Poggenpohl, Mike Zender and Karel ven de Waarde) discussed the role and responsibilities of peer-reviewers in the vetting and dissemination of scholarly research related to design. Those of us considering submitting research writing to journals must keep in mind that peer reviewers are positively invested in building the scholarly infrastructure of the disciple; thus, we should consider reviewers world class mentors and fellow scholars who can help us shape our work.
On Friday, Karel ven de Waarde recognized 3 types of research:
(1) practical research: project-specific research related to the topic, audience, usability, or post-project assessment of outcomes
(2) practice-based research: looking at patterns across a small group or collection.
(3) academic research: broader research that brings generalized knowledge to the discipline.
Lis Sanders discussed the three approaches, or areas of intent: provoking, engaging and serving. Karel ven de Waarde spoke about Graphic Design as ‘visual argumentation’ relates theory directly to practice.
During lunch, the AIGA Design Educators roundtable generated fruitful discussion around current initiatives being proposed to the board. Check out the post on proposed initiatives for more details, and please comment.
Saturday brought lots of good energy from Jon Kolko, Vice President of Product, Innovation, and Design at MyEdu (recently acquired by Blackboard), and the Founder and Director of Austin Center for Design.
Annette Diefenthaler from IDEO talked about (Re)earch for inspiration and design, noting that “Research is not a phase but journey of discovery.”
On both days of the conference, there were many interesting paper presentations with topics ranging from the challenges and benefits of teaching multi-level vertical studios, new models for critique and assessment, and increasing collaboration between designer/educator/researchers with investigators in other disciplines like science and medicine.
Oh, and the dessert bar following Friday night’s on-site feast was amazing!