Design Research

In Design Research, this studio course introduces students to the theory and practice of various types of design research including human-centered qualitative and ethnographic methods as well as formal and analytical techniques as geared toward pragmatic design applications. Students will also design imaginative tools to expand their understanding of individuals, groups of people and/or situated context. Representational methods such as mental models, scenario-building and analysis function to help students see and articulate patterns in qualitative data to inform design. The goal is to provide students with research-based skills and resources to strengthen strategic design practice. Students will design and build imaginative tools for use in ethnographic research, to expand understanding of a group of people and/or situated context. In this studio, students will learn visual techniques for representing information and data so as to find patterns, opportunities and meaning that will lead to new insights. Mock-ups and prototypes will be created in the discovered opportunity areas. Students will also learn techniques in user evaluate in order to iteratively develop design concepts that arise from the research.