Design Research, Tony Brown

According to the assigned articles there is an intense dialog concerning the complexity, function, method, and utility of Design Research. The Art of Design Research was discussed, and the idea of design being non-existent without the practice of research was brought up. The articles also mentioned that although some form of research depends primarily on numbers and data, design research is an exception.  Designer’s ability to succeed depends on their knowledge of the human condition and their ability to convey messages to a vast and unpredictable audience. Ben McAllister’s article says that design is similar to life; it is unpredictable, chaotic, and flavorful. In other words design can be swift and changeable, and the good designer must have the will to be as flexible as the given demands of their patrons.  The art of design has become more common and designers in the attempt to be accepted are embracing traditional methods of research.  This leaves them at a disadvantage with distilled potency in their ability to give applicable and creative solutions. Those designers that opt out for the temporary acceptance submit to data of the scientific research which will do the reasoning for them. Some wonder why do research at all. Research can be a valuable tool to assist any designer in their quest for the perfect solution, but it will only prove tangible if creativity and cultural knowledge guide the execution of the project.  The general public believes that the data from the scientific method is meticulous and unquestionable. This thinking can lead to confusion and tapered conceptions on what makes for good design. After reading these articles I am convinced that good design is a product of both, creativity and research, not necessarily in that order. Any project must have some type of thought and planning. Researching every possible element of your project will bring you closer to a satisfying solution for you as a designer and your customers.


4 thoughts on “Design Research, Tony Brown

  1. I have to agree with you on this. Designers need to problem solve using research and creative skill. However, the public needs to know the difference between how to reach a scientific law and how to come up with a better solution for a human need.

  2. I agree with you, that after reading the articles I myself have a better understanding about what types of research I need to do in order to produce quality work. I also think that any project, even small ones, require some type of research while allowing or even leading the creative process on its primary path. It is also amazing how we as a society take the data from science to be truthful with no room for error when in reality that data leads us towards the true nature of the questions that are initially asked.

  3. Definitely agree with the balance between creativity and research! As an artist, I think it would be difficult to succumb to the demands of corporate creativity in regards to logos and such. I would personally feel like in some way I would sell out just for a paycheck which wouldn’t sit well with me. I, more often than not, go against the grain just to see for myself. Similarly, I would continue to pursue free creativity over corporate structured research anyway. Great post!

  4. The best design (and science) is comprised of both creativity and research. Often through the research process, the idea can evolve and become more complex and informed, whether or not any relevant ‘facts’ are found, and that’s valuable all on its own

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