Teaching design research in the studio

Ben Matthews, Jacob Buur


Design education is diversifying as it responds both to the needs of industry, and to the long-standing demands for design (as a discipline) to take its place as a legitimate academic field in its own right. In this article we describe an attempt to integrate design research into a studio-based design education by giving students the opportunity to analyse data collected during their own projects. In the three-week project, students were given short courses in research methods and analysis, and an initial research question to frame their inquiry. Each group of students produced a short research article as their deliverable for the project. We evaluate the success of this endeavour through four lenses: (a) as a means of enabling students to reflect on their own design practice, (b) as an attempt to teach design students research skills, (c) as a way of facilitating contributions to design research, and (d) as a means of introducing students to the academic community of practice. We conclude with reflections about how this can inform our own and others’ educational practice.

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