Research through Design Symposium

“Research through design” (RtD) is a term first introduced by Christopher Frayling of RCA, London. RtD goes under many names, and there is variation in its use across design disciplines. There are several main communities: HCI prefers to talk about RtD; industrial designers about constructive research; artists and craft researchers about artistic research or practice-based research.

Since the end of the nineties, this research has become a dominant form of research in many design schools, and it has also come to be expected in design assessments, as recently witnessed by the Hong Kong RAE of 2014. Although there are several sophisticated theoretical and methodological discussions, it is still in the process of formation.

What we know by now is that RtD can be done successfully and also that it connects well to teaching and industry. It has already shaped research communities in several disciplines, and education in several design schools and universities.

The symposium has no participation fee.


Bill Gaver:
Batch deployments of ludic designs: blessing or curse?

PolyU Design Research through Design Symposium Bill Gaver Goldsmiths University of London

Professor of Design, Interaction Research Studio, Goldsmiths, University of London

Ludic design involves creating research devices that are open-ended and playful, encouraging people to engage with them in their own ways. In this talk I describe several projects in which we have batch produced multiple copies of our designs for relatively large-scale field trials, and outline some of the successes and frustrations of the results.

Peter Krogh:
Drifting: hypothesis, experiment, evaluation

PolyU Design Research through Design Symposium Peter Krogh Aarhus School of Architecture

Professor in Design, Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark

Research has a tendency to drift in scope, exploration and contribution as it progresses. By acknowledging drifting and providing ways of articulating it, design research may build a better self-understanding of how it relates to scientific research traditions. This talk will describe theory behind three doctoral courses in design focusing on: 1) motivation and hypothesis; 2) experimentation; and 3) evaluation. It builds on ten recent European PhD thesis. The developed models and typologies will be illustrated through the recent work of two doctoral students, one in landscape planning/sustainable energy, and one in interaction design.

Peter Hasdell and Gerhard Bruyns:
Research through Design, XL
PolyU Design Research through Design Symposium Peter Hasdell Gerhard Bruyns

Associate Professor/ Assistant Professor, PolyU Design

Discourse in research through design mainly comes from industrial and interaction design, where design ideas can be prototyped. This is not typically the case in architecture and urban design. This talks explores ways in which these disciplines could engage in research through design.

Brief bios

Bill Gaver is Professor of Design and leads the Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths, University of London. His research on design-led methodologies and innovative technologies for everyday life led him to develop an internationally renowned studio bringing the skills of designers together with expertise in ubiquitous computing and sociology. With the Studio, he has developed approaches to design ranging from Cultural Probes to the use of documentary film to help assess peoples' experience with designs, pursued conceptual work on topics such as ambiguity and interpretation, and produced highly-finished prototypes that have been deployed for long-term field trials and exhibited internationally at venues such as the V&A Museum, Tate Britain, and New York’s MOMA. He has published over 70 articles (h-index of 36) and is an elected member of the CHI Academy.

Peter Krogh is architect and Professor in Design at the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark. He has participated and led a wide range of educational programs and research projects in both academia and industry with the focus of integrating services, IT and physical artifacts and spaces. His work is marked by a continuous effort to bridge academic, artistic, commercial and social interests; pointing to solutions that enable people to pursue desirable and profitable cultural changes both large and small scale - social innovation for sustainability.

Peter Hasdell is Associate Professor at the School of Design. He is an architect, urbanist, artist and academic. He has lived, taught and practiced in Australia, UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, Japan and China. He has been based in HK since 2007 where he is a co-director of the architectural practice D+A h.q. Ltd. focusing on architecture and urban (master-planning) projects in China and SE Asia. His professional practice has included strategic planning on a national scale, urban planning and consultancies for various cities in Europe and China, several projects in China, as well as cultural and public art projects. He has also made and exhibited a variety of interactive art projects and interactive installations.

Gerhard Bruyns is Assistant Professor at the School of Design. He is a South African born architect and urbanist, who was trained in South Africa and received his PhD at TU Delft where he worked in an advanced research unit focused on combining critical theory, and philosophy and design in architecture and urbanism. He has lectured at a number of universities globally, and acted as a jury member in South Africa, Asia, South America, the US and Europe. His most recent publication and editorial work addresses urbanization in Africa. Bruyns' present professional design and practice work is done in association is with CP, Arquitectura, Urbanismo, Investigacion.