Design Practice Group
Principal Investigator: Dr Nathan Crilly
Relating designers, artefacts and users
The Design Practice group researches the relationships between designers, artefacts and users. In particular, we study the following phenomena: (1) the ways in which designers specify the properties of artefacts (and also how designers consider users in that process); (2) interactions between users and artefacts (and also how users consider designers during those interactions); and (3) communications between designers and users (and also how artefacts mediate those communications).
Our research is highly interdisciplinary, and this is manifest in two ways. First, when seeking to establish the conceptual foundations of particular aspects of design, there is a broad base of existing knowledge to draw on and this knowledge is distributed across many different academic and professional disciplines. It is therefore necessary to identify the most relevant ideas developed in other fields and bring these ideas into design research. Second, when conducting empirical enquiries into design and use, a broad range of research methodologies are useful and these originate from many different disciplinary traditions. Consequently, the identification, adaptation and implementation of appropriate research methods is important to conducting and presenting the work.
The topics and methods of the Design Practice group are relevant to a broad range of disciplines and we publish and present our work not only to design research but also to the disciplines we draw from. In doing so, we strive to make contributions to design theory, practice and education, and to design's neighbouring subjects. Anyone interested in joining or working with the Design Practice group should contact Nathan Crilly directly.
- Dr Nathan Crilly (Theme Leader, Principle Investigator and Supervisor)
- Alison McDougall-Weil (PhD student researching the influence of laboratory architecture on science work)
- Ting-Ray Chang (PhD student researching visual co-creation methods in clinical practice)
- Odette da Silva (with Prof. Paul Hekkert at TU Delft - PhD student researching how users' knowledge of design intention influences aesthetic response)
Recent Group Members
- Katrina Schoen (MPhil student researching whether implicit methods can reveal user product preferences)
- Eleanor Merry (MPhil student researching the influence of user design knowledge on user response to products)
Design as Communication
Relating designer intent to user response
Interdisciplinary Engineering Approach to Systems
Nathan Crilly's PhD project on the factors that shape product form