Explorative Materiality and Knowledge. The Role of Creative Exploration and Artefacts in Design Research

Kristina Niedderer


Juxtaposing the nature of design and the foundations of research in the traditional science and humanities disciplines puts their differences into sharp relief. The comparison highlights the key characteristics of design – its creative and experiential nature – which any design research must take into account, as well as the theoretical foundations of research. The aim of this article is to develop an understanding of the ontological, epistemological and methodological issues of design research, and to offer a framework that can embrace equally the notions of creativity and experiential knowledge, and of academic rigour. Furthermore, the potential roles of the design process and artefact within research are examined within this theoretical framework, which suggests that design processes and artefacts can – if appropriately framed – play an important part in the research process, facilitating an approach commensurate with the aims of design enquiry. A case study of the Niedderer’s own work serves to illustrate the balance and integration of theory and (creative) practice within the research process, and how this integration can enable a multi-layered contribution to the theoretical and practical advancement of the field.

Emneord (Nøkkelord)

design, research, practice, knowledge, creative exploration, artefact


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Copyright (c) 2013 Kristina Niedderer

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