Design Research Seminar (MDR)


The following list contains the readings and responsible person of presenting (it is also marked wich ones are mandatory for all). At the end of each topic you will also find a list of other interesting or related references that you are of course, free to incorporate in your texts..


Research can be understood in a miriad of ways, What is its significance? Why to engage in it from the perspective of design? is there tradition?

[PDF slides of fisrt day]

Further reading:

Developing a Research Procedures Programme for Artists & Designers

Findeli Alain (1998) Will Design Ever Become a Science? Epistemological and Methodological Isues in Design Research, Followed by a proposition. in "No Guru no Method, Discussion n Art and Design Research" University of Art and Design Helsinki.

Intro to Qualitative Research

In the natural and social sciences, one of the most common distinctions in researchj methods is that made between qualitative and quantitative research methods. We will look closely into Qualitative research as the tools and methods of this tradition are closer to design practice.

Denzin N, Lincoln Y. (1994):” Introduction to Qualitative Research” Denzin N, Lincoln Y (ed). in Handbook of Qualitative Research. Sage publications Thousand Oaks-Cal.
[Inga + all]

Guba E.G, Lincoln Y. (1994): Competing Paradigms in Qualitative Research ” in Denzin N, Lincoln Y (Ed). Handbook of Qualitative Research . Sage publications Thousand Oaks-Cal,

Further readign

Qualitative Research in Information Systems

Next semester "applied ethnography" course is a good hands on.

Contextualizing (Design and Technology)

How does things come into being? What are the roles of different actors? This questions are relevant Design practice, form the perspective of understanding how other disciplines understand the process and/or strive to create spaces for action

Pinch T, Bijker W. (1999): “The Social Construction of Facts and Artifacts: Or How the Sociology of Science and the Sociology of Technology Might Benefit Each Other” in Bijker, W E, & Hughes, T P & Pinch, T (Eds): The Social Construction of Technological Systems. MIT.

Suchmann L. (2000) Located Accountabilities in Technological Production. Department of Sociology. University of Lancaster.Available at

[Roope ]

Further reading:

Bijker W, Law J (Eds.). (1997): Shaping technology / Building Society. MIT Press.MacKenzie D, Wajcman J. eds (1994). “The Social Shaping of Technology”. Open University Press.

Suchman, Lucy (2001): Building bridges. Practice-based ethnographies of contemporary technology. In Schiffer, M. (Ed.): Anthropological Perspectives on Technology. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.

Margolin V (2002) “The politics of the artificial” in The Politics of The Artificial, Essays on Design and Design Studies. The University of Chicago Press

Coyne R. (1997) Designing Information Technology in the Posmodern Age, From Method to Metaphor. MIT Press

Latour, Bruno (1987): Science in action : how to follow scientists and engineers through society. Milton Keynes Open University Press.

Reporting on Projects (How to make a case)

How can you write about "your project", It is possible to make explicit assumptions and underlying questions?

Dunne A, Raby F (2002) “The Placebo Project” in Proceedings of DIS2002 - Designing Interactive Systems Conference. ACM

Ferris K , Bannon L (2002) “A load of ould Boxology!” in Proceedings of DIS2002 - Designing Interactive Systems Conference. ACM

Further reading:

Krueger Myron (1977) Responsive Environments. in Proceedings of National Computer Conference Montvale NJ. (Available in UIAH library in the compilation "The New Media Reader")

Ehn P, Meggerle T, Steen O, Svedemar M (1997): “What Kind of Car Is This
Sales Support System? On Styles, Artifacts and Quality-in-Use” in Kyng M, Mathiassen L (Ed) Computers and Design in Context

Schön D. (1982). The Reflective Practitioner. Basic Books U.S.A

Design space - Toolbox

From a more pragmatic perspective it is usefull to survey the possible tools availabel for the "bricoleur". Can we find aproaches to help us focus, to help us look for answers to the questions a project poses?

Buchenau M, Fulton Suri J (2000) “Experience Prototyping” in Proceedings of DIS2000 - Designing Interactive Systems Conference. ACM
[Ville + all]

Erickson T: Notes on Design Practice: Stories and prototypes as catalyst for communication. Available at::

Koskijoki M; Kommonen K; Oksanen-Särelä K; Oilinki I; Arvilomi M; Holm H. (2001) Asumisen arki ja unelmat. Final report VVO, TAIK (Media Lab)

Carroll, J.M. (1995): “Scenario-Based Design” in Making Use, Scenario Based Designof Human Computer Interactions. MIT Press
[Eeva + all]

Mattelmäki T, Battarbee K (2000): “Elämykset muotoilun lähtökohtana” in Keinonen T (ed) 2000: Miten käytettävyys muotoillaan. Taideteollinen Korkeakoulu Julkaisu B61, Helsinki
[Minta + all]

Akrich M (1995) "User Representations : Practices, Methods and Sociology in Managing Technology in Society ed Rip A, Thomas J and Schot J. Printer Publishers, London

Doing Cultural Studies, The Story of the Sony Walkman ... (?)

Margolin Victor (2002) "The Experience of Products" in The politics of the Artificial. The University of Chicago Press. Chicago

Further reading:

Beyer H, Holtzblatt K (1996): “Contextual Design; Principles and Practice” in Wixon D and Ramey J. (Ed.) Field Methods Casebook for Software Design. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York.

Wasson, Christina (2000): “Ethnography in the Field of Design”. In Human Organization 59:4, 377-388

Nardi Bonnie A. (ed) 1995: Context and Consciousness: Activity Theory and Human-Computer Interaction MIT Press (see: Activity Theory as a potential framework for human computer interaction: Page 17)

Knight & Jefsioutine (2001): Understanding the user: Research Methods to support the digital media designer. in Research Issues in Art Design and Media. N3

Leonard D, Rayport J.F (1997): “Spark Innovation Through Empathic Design” in Harvard Business Review, November-December 1997

Schuler, D & Namioka, A (eds) (1993). Participatory Design, Principles and Practices. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Winograd Terry (ed) (1996) Bringing Design to Software .Stanford University and Interval Research Corporation. Addison-Wesley.

Design Research - participation, collaboration, involvement

If design can't be conceptualized anymore as the crusade of the lonely creative individual but as negotiation and conversation, what new challenges this sttitude pose?

Freire, P. (2000) “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. Continuum. New York. (? Edition)

Gaver, W. (2001) "Accountability". In The Presence Project. Computer Related Design Studio. Royal College of Art.
[Joanna ]

Botero A, Kommonen K, Koskijoki M, Ollinki I. (2003) Codesigning Visions, Uses and Applications
[Joanna ]

Further reading:

Moran P T . 2002. Every Day Adaptive Design. in Proceedings of DIS 2002-

Hofmeester K ; De charon de Saint German, E. (ed.) (1999): Presence, New Media for Older People. Printed by Presence at the Netherlands Design Institute. Amsterdam

Proceedigns of the Participatory Design Conference. 2002 Malmö Sweden ACM.

Bratteteig T.;Bjerneks G. 1995. User Participation and Democracy. A Discussion of Scandinavian Research on System Development. University of Oslo. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems. Vol. 7 No 1 April. (pp. 73-98)

Ehn P. 1992. Scandinavian design. On Participation and Skill. Retrieved from

Drafting an Agenda, or how to argument (alternative ways)

Collection of manifestos, pamplets and research agendas


Stallman Richard (1985), The GNU manifesto. Free Software Foundation, Inc. Available at

Mau Bruce (1988) An Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, Design as an activity
Available at

Miekke Gerritzon (2001) Everyone Is a Designer: Manifest for the Design Economy. Gingko Press Inc 3rd edition

Mitchell Kapor (1996) "A Software Design Manifesto" in Bringing Design to Software Winograd T (ed)

Marx Karl, Engels Frederick. (1848) "The Communist Manifesto"

Djajadiningrat J, Overbeeke C.J Wensveen S (2000) : “Augmenting Fun and beauty: A Phamplet“ in Proceedings of DARE 2000, April 2000 Denmark. ACM

On design

We are not covering this now, but check if some could be usefull to develop your arguments and frame your research questions.

Winograd T; (1986) Bringing Design to Software

Papanek. V. (1991): “What is Design?” in Design for the Real World- Human ecology and Social Change. Academy Chicago Publisher. (Second Edition)

Buchanan R, (1995): “Whicked Problems in Design Thinking” in The Idea of Design. Buchanan R, Margolin V. edit MIT Press, Cambridge MA

Carroll JM (2000) “What is Design” in Making Use, Scenario Based Design of Human Computer Interactions . MIT Press

Kyng Morten Mathiassen Lars (eds) Computers and Design In Context MIT Press Cambridge MA 1997

Buchanan R, Margolin V.(edit) (1995) "Discovering Design" Explorations in design studies. The University of Chicago press. Chicago 1995

Latour, B. (1996). Aramis or the love of technology. HArvard University Press

Reflective Conversation with Materials
An interview with Donald Schön by John Bennett