This semesters subject is »Design Methods«. Since the 1950’s and 1960’s and the so-called »Design Methods Movement« (which is said to have failed) the idea of Design Methods has been in the center of both design research and design practice. The 1960’s, in particular HfG Ulm seeked to establish a scientific and more structural approach towards the design process. This finally led to a separation of theory and practice.
Today design methods are either hated or embraced. Whereas the so-called »Author-Designers« seem to still stick to the idea of the artistic genius in combination with craftsmanship, consulting companies such as pwc have included design methodology on several levels of their organization. At the same time, the design research scene (in particular in the scandinavian countries) has been focussing mostly on participatory design recently.
This shows: design methodology is a jungle of numerous different approaches. Countless publications were published on the subject. To understand design methodlogy we will follow a more applied design research approach. Furthermore, it is clear that methodology is always a natural part of every design project – which lies in the logic of the design process in itself. So the goal of the seminar is also to gain knowledge about how to articulate ourselves and about how to communicate with non-designers when talking about our process.
The seminar is divided into two interlocking parts:
1: Discourse (in the morning)
This part is more historical and based on the discourse about design as in design science.
a) Science and cybernetics
Claudia Mareis, u.a.
b) Language and meaning
Dagmar Steffen, Sandra, Umberto Eco
c) participation and design processes as moments of marketing.
2: Applied design research (in the afternoon)
This part seeks to conduct the application, iteration and the development of the so-called design methods. It is about the design of the design process. We will do this using an extremely simple example from contemporary industrial design. (»Accessories for screen-based products, not bigger than A4«). My recent research in China has led me towards the idea that a systematic approach in the design of your own design process is a key moment in marketing yourself in the design world. Apart from developing ideas (the product is just the vehicle to understand methodology), the main focus here is that everyone will develop their own process of design.
a) brainstorming and its relatives
b) analytical methods (ethnographic, systematic, marketing methodology)
c) documentary methods
d) participatory methods