Design Research: 8 Approaches and Thinking

Assignment 2 for Design, Society and the Public Sector at AC4D / 8 author positions in the context of designing for or with
Author summaries listed below:
Emily Pilloton list requirements for lasting involvement as proximity, empathetic investment and a focused involvement that has multiple scales.  To design effective solutions for people you must co-create systems for but also owned by them. To “invest” when designing within communities, we must experience and identify with the community and become part of it, in order to produce sustainable impact.
Victor Margolin talks about design research as a bridge to the market world and the cultural world.
Jane Fulton Suri “emphasizes deeper, more meaningful, and more enduring value comes from not the observations themselves, it comes from the quality of interpretation and synthesis applied to the observations, the freshness of insights surfaced and the effectiveness in influencing how companies respond.”
Chris Le Dantec, talks about broadening the scope of participatory design through technology, when appropriate, as a medium but also acknowledges the deep challenges in reaching participant communities. “By outlining the framework or boundary of the participants, he introduces the idea of “a public”, which highlights the social conditions of individuals as a collective group, for reflection and action.”
Don Norman controversially concludes, “Design research is great when it comes to improving existing product categories, but essentially useless when it comes to breakthroughs.”  It’s easy to disagree with him, just by saying true innovation rarely comes from a single person.  Design research along with many other process can aid in true innovation.
Jodi Forlizzi, describes Product Ecology as the framework to understand social product use and the social behaviors that are provoked to choose methodologies associated with these products allowing for more flexible research planning and opportunity seeking.
Bill Gaver describes a method for capturing, unique, qualitative and highly personal material by using “Cultural Probes”.