March 21: Reflexivity - validity, reliability? On the legitimacy of Design Research

A seminar with Bo Westerlund, professor in Industrial design,   Friday March 21, 14-16 in S6.

Designers and design researchers conduct many different exploratory activities, that we call experiments. These are typically conducted with other approaches than traditional scientific experiments that often are configured to reduce complexity. Design experiments on the other hand often welcome complexity and deal with it by working with the specific, the particular. But what can we learn about the general from the particular? These and other aspects make it necessary to discuss, reflect, understand, and explain design experiments in other ways than traditional experiments. What is understood as knowledge? What defines knowledge? By who or whom? This is important in order to increase the legitimacy of design research. And in the future, even the understanding of the importance of design in general can have.

The background to this seminar is a paper that Bo Westerlund and Anna Rylander, at the University of Gothenburg, have written. It draws on a workshop that they organised during Nordes 2015. There they had 17 design researchers together explore and share their experience of conducting design experiments. The aim was to develop a conceptual map to categorise these based on preconception, understanding, proposals on the view of knowledge, etc.

Get in touch with Bo of you want to participate in the seminar, so that you get access to the paper.


Bo Westerlund