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 practices:

  • the specification of artefacts by designers (and also how designers consider users in that process);
  • the interaction between users and artefacts (and also how users consider designers during those interactions);
  • the communication 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 the relationships between designers, artefacts and users, 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 our work.

The topics and methods of the Design Practice Group are relevant to a broad range of disciplines. As such, we publish and present our work not only to design research but also to the disciplines we draw from and those to which our work relates. In doing so, we make contributions to how design is thought about, taught and practiced, and to how other disciplines view design. Anyone interested in joining or working with the Design Practice Group should contact Nathan Crilly directly.

Group Members

  • Dr Nathan Crilly (Group Leader and Principal Investigator)
  • Dr Chih-Chun Chen (Post-doctoral Research Associate on the IdEAS project)
  • Dr Gülşen Töre-Yargın (Visiting post-doctoral Research Associate on the IdEAS project)
  • 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)
  • Eloise Taysom (PhD student researching system resilience on the IdEAS project)
  • Luis Arthur Vasconcelos (PhD student researching system inspiration and fixation on the IdEAS project)
  • Odette da Silva (PhD student with Prof. Paul Hekkert at TU Delft researching how users' knowledge of design intention influences aesthetic response)

Recent Group Members

  • Katrina Schoen (MPhil student researching how implicit methods can measure user product preferences)
  • Eleanor Merry (MPhil student researching the influence of user design knowledge on user response to products)

Current Research