Research through Making: Practice Based Research in Design

Research through Making: Practice Based Research in Design

Research through Making: Practice Based Research in Design

June 19, 2018 - July 19, 2018

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm


One of the distinctive characteristics of research in design is that designers not only employ a large variety of frameworks, tools and methods borrowed from the social sciences in order to do research, but that they design and deploy material things, whether artifacts, environments or experiences, in order to construct and test hypotheses and interrogate and understand lived human experience and the structure of everyday life. This distinction between research that one does in order to design, versus research driven by and through design practice, shall be our point of departure for this course.

Apart from developing an understanding of the diverse landscape of research of, for, and by design, we will learn how to design artefactually-driven research experiments, making prototypes and simulations to investigate human behavior across space and time. While our time in each session will be mostly dedicated to lectures and discussions, participants should be expected to dedicate time outside of class to collaborate with colleagues in developing and deploying their tools and conducting their research studies. By the end of the course participants will be expected to have grown an understanding of how qualitative methods from a number of disciplinary domains such as sensory anthropology, media studies, interrogative art practice, and human-computer interaction can be modified and used by designers, developed a proficiency in creating entirely new methods, practices and tools, and acquired some skill in being able to collate, analyze and present important findings and insights.

Trainer’s Bio:

Ahmed Ansari is a doctoral candidate in Design Studies at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). His research interests intersect at the junction between design history and theory, post\decolonial theory, and the philosophy of technology, exploring the possibilities of non-western philosophies of technology as the basis for the development of new forms of design practice, with a focus on the Indian subcontinent and late Vedic philosophical thought. He is also a founding member of the Decolonizing Design platform, from which he does frequent and rather fervent critiques of the politics and ethics of contemporary design practice.He teaches both studio and seminar courses in systems thinking, cultural theory, research methods, and design studies in the School of Design at CMU.