Module Catalogues

Framing Design Research

Module Title Framing Design Research
Module Level Level 4
Module Credits 10.00
Academic Year 2023/24
Semester SEM1

Aims and Fit of Module

This module will enable students to develop their critical design thinking to develop their aims and objectives for postgraduate research, particularly for the preparation of their studio practice module: IND405 Transdisciplinary Design. Module activities and seminars will engage students, in collaboration with other specialists and academics from diverse experiences and backgrounds, to develop conceptual frameworks that draw upon discipline-specific concepts, theories, and recommendations. Where this opportunity for convergent dialogue provides an academic platform, to synthesize common theories, exemplars, and design practices. The structural position of this module provides an important progression for the entry level master students where students discover how design can contribute to knowledge within society through three definitive modes: research of design, research for design, and research by design. Topics and themes studied within this module cover many critical design philosophies and how these can be applied within a scientific and technical context, together with postgraduate-level analysis of the history and theoretical foundations of current scholarship in design thinking. The module also provides specific skills as: 1) An overview of the process of design research, discovery, to enable students to place their design research work into specific contexts. 2) Skills to think critically about the differences between application of design research in industry, or design research in academia and conferences. 3) An interactive environment in which conceptual issues towards transdisciplinary design and other methodologies can be proposed and discussed.

Learning outcomes

A. Describe philosophical foundations of design theory, referencing exemplars of academic theory and design practice. B Explain current research and design practice for different design methodologies C Practice design research work in specific contexts and situations. D Formulate challenging design research questions based on contemporary themes and contexts E Build a design research programme with aims, objectives and scheduled activities, as a self-motivated academic study plan. F Critically evaluate the application of their design research in industry contexts and design research in academia.

Method of teaching and learning

The material in this module is delivered through a combination of formal lectures, individual and group tutorials, discussions, seminars, workshops, and research-related visits. Under tutorial supervision and enhanced by lectures from academic staff, students formulate an individual design research proposal. They are required to engage in literature reviews, market research, and technology reviews. During the sessions of the module, students are required to present their developing research question, planned research activities and methods, within a series of formal reviews alongside their colleagues and tutors.