Module Catalogues

Framing Design Research

Module Title Framing Design Research
Module Level Level 4
Module Credits 5.00
Academic Year 2021/22
Semester SEM1

Aims and Fit of Module

This module will enable students to develop their critical thinking skills and aims to develop their background for postgraduate research related to transdisciplinary design. The goal in following the transdisciplinary approach is to enable the students, working jointly with others representing diverse disciplines, to develop and use shared conceptual frameworks that draw upon discipline-specific concepts, theories, and methods, but address common problems through a new synthesis of a common ontology, theories, exemplars, and heuristics.
The theme of this course is the means through which design can contribute to knowledge in society through three modes: research of design, research for design, and research by design. The topics of this course cover the philosophy of science applied to design; postgraduate-level analysis of the history and theoretical foundations of current scholarship in design thinking; development of synergistic collaborations with other disciplines; and direction in formulating research topics for their MDes research projects.
The objectives of this course are to provide students with 1) an overview of the process of design research, discovery, and change to enable them to place their design research work in context; 2) skills to think critically about the applicability and adoption of design research in industry or academia; and 3) an interactive environment in which conceptual issues in transdisciplinary design can be raised and discussed.

Learning outcomes

A Describe the philosophical foundations of transdisciplinary approaches to design and process
B Explain current theories and methods in design and design research
C Practice their design research work in context
D Formulate a novel design research question based on the prior work
E Arrange a set of design research activities for a detailed research plan
F Critically evaluate the applicability and adoption of design theories and methods in industry and academia

Method of teaching and learning

The material in this module is delivered through a combination of formal lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Under tutorial supervision, and enhanced by lectures and other inputs of academic staff, students formulate and address a design research proposal individually. Students are required to engage in literature review, market research, and/or technology review. They are required to present their developing research question, research activities, methods, and plan in a series of formal reviews.