Using studio teaching as an initiator and driver for research collaboration in design

DS 87-9 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 9: Design Education, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Liem, André; Ruecker, Stan; Alfonso de la Rosa, Juan
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway; 2: Illinois Institute of Technology, United States of America
Section: Design Education
Page(s): 149-158
ISBN: 978-1-904670-97-1
ISSN: 2220-4342


This article proposes an alternative route towards initiating and developing formal design research projects, where design studios act as an "Initiator" and "Driver" for subsequent research collaboration. A concept for collaborative research, involving different stakeholders, will be introduced based upon the notion that results from sponsored studio projects create avenues for more formal research work, whether fundamental or applied. Building upon “Activity Theory”, “Action Research” and “Practice Theory”, the authors argue that practice and research are becoming more seamlessly connected through the increasing importance of context. This requires a strategic and educational perspective, where design thinking about social, technological economical, environmental and political aspects completed by collaborative learning determine scholarship as well as synergies between practice and research. Tactically, systematic planning and systems development is essential to develop new knowledge and networks, as well as anticipate future products and services. Operationally, iterative research and design prototyping addresses the systemic, emergent and real challenges of given contexts.

Keywords: Design education, Research methodologies and methods, Design practice


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