BİLKENT UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF ART, DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN

TERM PAPER - DESIGN RESEARCH

" Design knowledge for starters: It's definition, methodology and strategies"

IAED 583 - DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND THEORIES 2011-2012 FALL SEMESTER INSTRUCTOR : PROF. DR. HALİME DEMİRKAN PREPARED BY: ZEYNEP BORA

TABLE OF CONTENTS 1) INTRODUCTION 2) WHY DESIGN MATTERS? 3) WHAT IS DESIGN? 4) WHAT IS DESIGN RESEARCH METHODOLOGY? 5) WHAT ARE THE TOOLS AND MATERIALS OF DESIGN? 6) WHAT ARE THE REASONING ACTIVITIES IN THE DESIGN CYCLE? 7) WHAT ARE DESIGN STRATEGIES? 8) HOW KNOWLEDGE IS GENERATED AND ACCUMULATED IN DESIGN PROCESS? 9) WHAT ARE THE OUTPUTS OF DESIGN RESEARCH? 10) LIST OF REFERANCES .

WHAT IS DESIGN? The ability of making things is basically what makes us human.5-8) When we look up the dictionary definition of design. it can be said that design was born over two and a half million years ago. its methodology and so on. (2004). we see that the definitions groups around two norms. design is a very powerful instrument and even though it does not appear in your business card. Within another five thousand years. musicians etc. design is in everywhere. First traces of urban design and architecture were seen ten thousand years ago in Mesopotamia and interior architecture followed them with furniture design. It is certain that design as a job title. documents. it all crosses our minds as a profession. in your presentations. . so tool-making made the homo habilis humans that we know today." Garr Reynolds In order to fully understand what design is. It helped them to develop the ability to imagine and to make plan (Friedman. meetings. when the first tools were made by homo habilis. architects.BORA 1 Design knowledge for starters: It's definition. first you need to forget about the general belief. So. graphic design and typography emerged in Sumerians. It is fair to say that all of these professions emerged from tool-making. designers. methodology and strategies "Design is the fundamental soul of man-made creation. As Reynolds mentioned in his writing. 2000. emails. p. design is not unique for artisans. But this article is not about the design business but about the full structure of design. WHY DESIGN MATTERS? "We all need to be design mindful." Steve Jobs INTRODUCTION When we hear the word "design". is a comparatively new profession. the way you dress etc.

When we look up to the literature. (Zeisel. Again in Friedman's conference notes. a mental project or scheme in which means to an end re laid down. word "design" was used as verb and the first written citation was made in 1548. to devise for a specific function or end. When we look up the transitive meaning of research. Theory construction in design research: criteria: approaches.d. It is nearly impossible to limit the definition of design because it is consist of lots of intangible elements such as intuition. The need for design education. purposive planning." (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.). studious inquiry or examination. and methods. to do research for something. to a problem solving activity or to a product of that process. From these definitions we understand that the word "design" may refer to a process. n. design was started to be used in noun form.) According to Friedman. After a half century. collection of information about a particular subject. we see that the first written usage of design as a noun was seen in 1558.” (1973) In his book. research . p. " initiate change in man-made things. Archer binds those definitions together and make a great explanation of what design is. n.d. In his book. 1989. we see that it means "to search or investigate exhaustively. n. we come up with several other explanations that are pretty much alike with the definitions in Merriam-Webster Dictionary.d." As Friedman indicated in his article. Design Methods and Technology: Seeds of Human Futures." (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.)." (1970)." (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. creativity etc. to have as a specific purpose.3). 2) design (noun): "a particular purpose held in view by an individual or group. WHAT IS DESIGN RESEARCH METHODOLOGY? In order to understand what design research methodology is. “Design is that area of human experience. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines noun word research as "careful or diligent search. first you need a brief explanation on what research and methodology means. skill and knowledge which is concerned with man’s ability to mould his environment to suit his material and spiritual needs.BORA 2 1) design as process (verb): "to conceive and plan out in the mind. deliberate. Jones highlights that design is a rational and sequential intend towards solving problem and he continues with those words. With such a broad denotation. imagery.

. Reich explains the five aspects of research methodology. methodology is a term to describe the unite of methods. digital tools. 3) hypothesis testing 4) hypothesis evaluation. Köknar & Erdem creates a model that explains the relationship between designer-tool-product.52). thus with the merge of subject-tool-object. 5) hypothesis acceptance or rejection. 2) hypothesis formulation. p. First concept states that. which is a process of forming an image in our minds that actually does not exists (Demirkan & Hasırcı. One way or another. And he mentioned about two contrary concepts on these aspects. Even so. In their article. these are the steps of a practical and applied research methodology. These three elements are the main elements of the design and they are all situated in design environment (2010. it is for certain that. literal.BORA 3 and search are very close norms and most design aspects includes both research and search (2003. this methodology is aimed towards advanced knowledge and it does not involves any practical struggle at all. WHAT ARE THE TOOLS AND MATERIALS OF DESIGN? Design is a discipline that is dominated by various physical.510)." (1995. methodology is an approach to knowing. On the contrary. research and design are two banded concepts that cannot be departed and design researchers must be following a methodology in order to be credible. This could be because of the researcher's attitudes such as ignorance and/or indifference. Since the ability of thinking and imagining is limitless in human. They have a point that designing is a variable process. Reading design activity through design tools model. it has been claimed that. it can be said that mental imagery is a limitless tool for producing unique ideas.1). Basically. Köknar and Erdem has a more theoretical point of view towards the elements and tools in design environment. 2007. They stated that designers(subject) uses tools to create products(object).p. conceptual. reliable and mostly to be understandable (1995.262). p. But it would be better for a designer to know what are the basic tools and elements of a design. Literature review showed that there is a lack of discussion on research methodology. so the used tools must be varies between the design projects. They suggested that tools are the main sources in design. As defined in Merriam-Webster Dictionary. every design project varies due to the used tools and designer and so on. rules and postulates or directly the procedure of a discipline.1-2). Mental imagery is one of the initial tools in design. p. in his article.p. The study of design research methodology. "1) observations or preliminary studies.

5) decision. Once the mental imagery started. social. 3)simulation. it can be psychological. 2)synthesis. literal elements etc. Usually. 1) analysis: Once the designer identifies the needed function. the designer combines the separate ideas into a whole. models. But the need to went back to the formulation step can also occur and so the cycle would be back to square one (Industrial Design Engineering Wiki. Roozenburg and Eekels created a model called "basic design cycle". 2d drawings. the designer should represent them externally in order to be fully understood. 4)Evaluation: This stage is about developing the properties of the temporary design that was proposed in the synthesis phase. the designer forms an image of product by testing and reasoning behaviors. 5) Decision: In this stage. 3) Simulation: In this phase. regardless to their nature. "Metaphors not only communicate suggestive and expressive meanings but they also become ironic objects through their fusion of sense with sound. . are all the elements that can be used in representation of design.16). As MacCormac implies. economical. and creates a temporary design proposal. cultural etc. WHAT ARE THE REASONING ACTIVITIES IN THE DESIGN CYCLE? Designing process is like a vicious circle. the designer may want to continue to elaborating the design proposal or he/she may want to go back to earlier stages to generate a better proposal. Based on this idea. 3d drawings. designer would not be able to have the perfect result from the The basic design cycle first trial. computerized models and drawings. 1) analysis. design cycle is the simple formulation of the designing process. so he/she would return to the synthesis phase and get better (Roozenburg & Eekels. Metaphors are most powerful verbal and semantic tools for representation. p. and they claimed that this model is the most outstanding theory that explains this vicious circle because the model fits on every design problem. that can be changed within the later stages of cycle. 2011). The cycle consists of five main stages. Basically. 4) evaluation.BORA 4 External representation is another essential tool of design. he/she starts to forming ideas around that problem in order to create a new product. 1995) results with every trial." (1985.. Sketches. 2) synthesis: As a second step.

we all non-stop keep experiencing new things. Since the strategy is a long-term planning. 2)what: With the synthesis of reasons and needs.BORA 5 WHAT ARE DESIGN STRATEGIES? Every design problem should be considered and solved with their own methods. the designed unit should be able to respond the needs of the user. conference notes) HOW KNOWLEDGE IS GENERATED AND ACCUMULATED IN DESIGN PROCESS? It is clear that design as process. Since design involves an imagery step. it should lead the designer to achieve a goal. the designer should be able decide what to create within a perspective beyond the expected. 1)why: Designer should analyze problems and needs properly. any kind of experience can be transformed into knowledge. with conscious or unconscious. p. it would be nearly impossible to emerge those new knowledge from the design itself. Strategies should make the problems more easy to understand and solve. the designer should decide and find how to create them. As Kolb emphases. 1995.      Design strategies should lead the designer into a systematic perspective. There are common characteristics that design strategies should be acquired. creates a dynamic process of continuous reproduction and regeneration (Friedman. thus those new experiences would lead us to new knowledge. But in order to use those methods. 3)how: Production phase is as important as first two stages.What Kolb was trying to say is that in a living word. designer should consider three main designing strategies.13). . The relationship between those experiences and knowledge.2009. is in a continuous relationship both theoretical and practical disciplines. The strategies should be in a way that designer would be able to see the bigger picture. Those disciplines brings out explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge along with them. In order to give life to their ideas. (Breman. Design strategies should create a coherence between the elements of the design process. whether tacit or explicit.

4) Instantiation: This is about the realization of a product/artifact in an environment. they offer how things should be." (1995). 1) Constructs: They use this term to define the problem and solution zone. are generate with the conceptualization of the problem. 3) Method:"Methods are goal directed plans for manipulating constructs so that the solution statement model is realized. as refined in the design cycle. 2) Models: These are the statements that implies the relationships between the constructs.BORA 6 WHAT ARE THE OUTPUTS OF DESIGN RESEARCH? Kuechler and Vaishnavi stated in their article that there are four general outputs of a design research. Models are the propositions for the design cycle. They claim that constructs. .

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