Design Thinking Practice and Research: Building Research Culture in Undergraduate Studies

Dr. Christopher Kueh
2012 Conference

The relationships between design practice and research in university education is an on-going discussion. The expansion and development of design fields such as Design Thinking has generated discussions between research and practice (see Kimbell, 2011; Sangiorgi, 2010). This sees the urge to develop strong research culture in both undergraduate and postgraduate studies. This paper presents and discusses a Design Thinking framework in cultivating research culture in undergraduate Design courses at Edith Cowan University (ECU), Western Australia.

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About the author

Christopher is a design educator/researcher, practicing information designer and design strategist. He is currently teaching Design at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. His core career aim is to conduct research into relationships between design and people, and to apply Design Thinking to improve human interactivity, communication, and quality of life.

With an interest in user-design interaction, he obtained a PhD in 2006 with a thesis titled A User-Centred Approach to Effective Wayfinding Map Design: Integrating Theory, Practice and User Participation. With his expertise in user-centred design and trans-disciplinary research, Christopher has established strong research, teaching and consultancy records. The achievements include publications, successful research collaborations and broad networks. Christopher’s research and consultancy works in design have earned him positions of Visiting Professor and academic consultant to University Tunku Abdul Rahman (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2009), and STIKOM Surabaya University (Surabaya, Indonesia in 2011). Christopher’s roles were to expand the boundaries of Design Departments in these universities and promote trans-disciplinary design research. Christopher continues to explore design research and the possibilities of applying Design Thinking to solve organisational, business and social problems.