Welcome to Design Research – Epistemologies and Methods

Description: This PhD course aim to provide a profound understanding amongst the participants with respect to how their project is located within various positions and schools of thought. The course focuses in particular on the two levels of epistemology and method providing insight into philosophy of science as well as specific issues of methodology. The underpinning idea is to get participants to understand how the way they produce new knowledge within design research is related to the research design and the methods applied. The course will both provide a general level of knowledge about theories of science and relevant methods, as well as it will put focus on experimental, pragmatic and empirical research with end user experience as the pivotal theme.

Prerequisites: Enrollment as PhD student under the Doctoral School of Engineering but open for all regardless of discipline.

Learning objectives: The course participants will obtain knowledge about general issues and schools of thought within design research epistemology and method. The course participants will obtain competences in identifying their research project in relation to its epistemological context. The course participants will develop skills in analyzing and reflecting over the relation between epistemology and method within their research project.

Teaching methods: The course is divided into lectures on epistemology and methodology, participant's research project presentation, and plenary discussions.

Criteria for assessment: Participants are expected to read a modest amount of literature before the course, present their projects with specific emphasis on epistemology and methodology (research design), be actively participating in discussions during the course, and post-course submission of a written essay assignment (in case of the 5 ECTS option).

Readings (A = primary readings to be read in advance of the course, B = secondary readings for inspiration)

A Readings

  • Delanty, G. & P. Strydon (eds.) (2003) Philosophies of Social Science. The Classic and contemporary readings, Maidenhead: Open University Press, pp. 1-12
  • Jensen, O. B. (2010) Design research and knowledge – introduction to Design Research Epistemologies, in Jensen, O. B. (Ed.) (2010) Design Research Epistemologies I – Research in Architectural Design, Aalborg: Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology, pp. 7-20
  • Jensen, O. B. & D. B. Lanng (2016) Mobilities Design, Routledge: London (Chapter 2)
  • Lawson, B. (2004) What designers know, London: Architectural Press, pp. 1-20
  • Naisbitt, K. (1996) Introduction, in Nesbitt, K. (ed.) (1996) Theorizing A New Agenda for Architecture Theory. An anthology of Architectural Theory 1965-1995, New York: Princeton Architectural Press, pp. 16-70
  • Yaneva, A. (2005) Scaling Up and Down: Extraction Trials in Architectural Design, Social Studies of Science, 35/6, December 2005, 867-894
  • Yaneva, A. (2009) Making the social hold: Towards an Actor-Network Theory of Design, Design and Culture, Vol. 1, Issue 3, pp. 273-388

B Readings

  • Bærenholdt, J. O., M. Büscher, J. D. Scheuer & J. Simonsen (2010) Perspectives on Design Research, in Simonsen, J., J. O. Bærenholdt, M. Büscher, J. D. Scheuer (Eds.) (2010) Design Research. Synergies from interdisciplinary perspectives, London: Routledge, pp. 1-15
  • Degen, M., G. Rose & B. Basdas (2010) Bodies and everyday practices in designed urban environments Science Studies, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 60-76
  • Delanty, G. & P. Strydon (eds.) (2003) Philosophies of Social Science. The Classic and contemporary readings, Maidenhead: Open University Press, pp. 1-12 (A), 13-25, 85-98, 207-218, 321-330, and 365-383
  • Fallan, K. (2010) Design History. Understanding Theory and Method, Oxford: Berg, pp. 55-104 and 105-144
  • Gänshirt, C. (2007) Tools for Ideas. An Introduction to Architectural Design, Basel: Birkhäuser, pp. 9-20
  • Jensen, O. B. (2014) Designing Mobilities, Aalborg: Aalborg University Press, pp. 38-53
  • Latour, B. & A. Yaneva (2008) "Give me a gun and I will make all buildings move": An ANT's vies of Architecture, in Geiser, R. (Ed.) (2008) Explorations in Architecture: Teaching, Design, Research, Basel: Birkhäuser, pp. 80-89
  • Murphy, K. M & G. E. Marcus (2013) Epilogue: Ethnography and Design, Ethnography in Design …  Ethnography by Design, in W. Gunn, T. Otto & R. C. Smith (Eds.) (2013) Design Anthropology. Theory & Practice, London: Bloomsbury, pp. 251-268
  • Otto, T. & R. C. Smith (2013) Design Anthropology: A Distinct Style of Knowing, in W. Gunn, T. Otto & R. C. Smith (Eds.) (2013) Design Anthropology. Theory & Practice, London: Bloomsbury, pp. 1-29

Organizer and lecturer: Professor Ole B. Jensen, AD:MT, AAU mail: obje@create.aau.dk

ECTS: 3 ECTS + 2 if an assignment of 10-20 normal pages is submitted

Time: 24-26 April, 2017

Place: Rendsburggade 14, room Rdb 14.3/3.465 

Zip code: 9000

City: Aalborg

Number of seats: 15

Deadline: 5 April 2017

Important information concerning PhD courses We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 5,000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately three months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.