EITHER/OR: REFLECTING DESIGN THESIS ORIENTATION
DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: Soares, Liliana; Aparo, Ermanno; Moreira da Silva, Fernando
Institution: 1: Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Portugal - IPVC; 2: Research Centre for Architecture, Urban Planning and Design - CIAUD; 3: CIAUD, Faculty of Architecture, University of Lisbon
Section: Design Education for the General Public
Thesis orientation fuels a global debate across the fields of design education. Considering Design a production agent for contemporaneity, design’s expression redefines it and increases its territories. Acknowledging fluid behaviours and their relationship with reality is an ongoing and mutating Design achievement. The authors discuss traditional thesis orientation models, proposing an alternative model focused on contemporary reality. The model targets creativity, innovation and co-design, by fostering connections with reality and communities, according to circumstances, time, and space restrictions. The authors target the signifying logic operating towards Design research production, specifically through doctoral and post-doctoral thesis orientation. To support this study the authors retrieve Kierkegaard’s thinking in order to understand the proposed use of either/or as mediators between design development and reality. The first part revisits traditional methods of design orientation. The second part presents an alternative method. Methodologically, the authors analyze a case study of a musical instrument, using interpretation to reinforce the specificity of design of thinking and knowing. The authors intend to contribute towards the understanding of Design research, understanding that Design plays a key role in the twenty-first century reality transformation and enhancement, challenging designers to comprehend change as synonym for the life cycle of their field. As such, the authors’ research question is how may Design thesis orientation impact Design and a sustainable future?