Design Process, Design Research and Research Design in the Context Of Postgraduate Art & Design Education

Dr. Elivio Bonollo & Dr. Carlos Montana Hoyos
2012 Conference

This paper sets out to clarify the relationship between the ‘research process’ and the ‘design process’ in the context of research in postgraduate Art & Design education. The relationship between these processes is not well understood, and this is further complicated by terms such as ‘research design’ and ‘design thinking’ when applied to planning research activities, including selecting the qualitative and quantitative methods employed. In addition, ‘practice-based research’ is still controversial in terms of traditional academic research, and its acceptance varies in different countries and art and design schools. However, as will be explained, the ‘research process’ and the ‘design process’ valuable analogous functions which enhance the research outcomes when applied sensibly. This paper will use process modelling tools, diagrams and pragmatic experience from supervising PhD projects to show how the research and design processes are interrelated leading to better informed research experiences for students and supervisors.

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About the author

Dr. Elivio Bonollo PhD (Melb) is emeritus professor of industrial design in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra (UC). He was foundation professor of industrial design at UC (1997-2002) and a Pro Vice-Chancellor (1999-2001); earlier he was Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design (1997-98). Elivio (Livio) was professor and director of the Centre for Industrial Design at Monash University (1989-96) and before this senior lecturer in charge of industrial design in the Faculty of Art at RMIT (1979-89). He is the founder of the industrial design discipline at Monash University and the principal author of the original industrial design degrees at RMIT (1982) and Monash University (1989). He is a PhD supervisor and currently a member of the Space, Place and Object Research Cluster.

Dr. Carlos Montana-Hoyos was born in Bogotá, Colombia. He graduated cum laude from a MAID and a PhD from Kobe Design University (Japan Scholarship). As a designer, Carlos has developed multidisciplinary projects related to concept, product, graphics, exhibition and urban design. Several of his projects have received diverse international design awards. As an academic, Carlos was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Product Design Engineering course of EAFIT University in his country (2001-03). He was also a Fellow and Assistant Professor (2006-10) in the ID Program of the National University of Singapore. He is currently an Associate Professor in the ID course of the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra. His main research is in Biomimicry and Design for Sustainability, and he recently published a book on these topics.