Recap Webinar 'Designers in the world of science' October 2020

We look back upon a memorable webinar on practice oriented design research organized by the High-Density Energy Landscape group. Departing from the contributions of four invited design researchers, we debated with panelists and the audience about the nature of design research, its operationalization and its value in the education of designers.

Both evenings made clear that design research is increasingly recognized as a valuable way of conducting research. Both in the Netherlands and abroad, design research is being supported by scientific funding institutions. The three models of design research - research for, on and through/by design(ing), provide valuable thinking framework with implications for both design education and practice (see figure). Examples that were discussed in the webinar were ‘design guidelines’ and a ‘design library’ of built solar landscapes.

Introducing design research and ‘academic standards’ for design research at the start of the education at the Academy (and beyond) will familiarize students with conducting research and developing a research attitude. Taking the next step in design research does require a careful use of terminology (e.g. when do we call something ‘research’), to avoid misunderstandings within and outside the field of environmental designers such as architects, landscape architects and urban designers.

The substantial design capacity present at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture can be used to advance research through designing and thus develop a distinct research profile. At the same time, it has become clear that other leading design schools are also advancing on this topic which, in turn, provides ample opportunities for (inter)national collaboration.

The recordings are available on request; you can contact Dirk Oudes for more information.