Grad students at Stanford’s Emmet Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources and the Stanford d.school are joining forces for the Research as Design project — now in the form of a new blog.
Check it out for useful thinking and resources on design thinking, innovation, and incorporating this perspective into the research process.
They write: “One of the most powerful features of design thinking is that it makes the process behind innovation explicit and accessible. In contrast, in scientific research, the creative process is rarely discussed.”
When it comes to research design, particularly as it’s drummed into us in graduate school, perhaps it’s less that the creative process is ignored, and more that it’s not approached as creative. Creative processes which are celebrated as such defy, or at least flaunt, distinctions between right and wrong. In design thinking, the metrics against which designs are measured are things like usability or the extent to which the design solves the problem it was intended to. In grad school, the metrics can be less functional, and less transparent.
Nevertheless the efforts to bring design thinking into research design and implementation is important, and I look forward to following their efforts.