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By Circle of Knowledge


At Design Academy Eindhoven we have always used design to investigate the world around us, and ourselves. To us, designing is not only an activity to make something, it is also a way to understand something. More recently we have given a name to this type of designing: design research.

Design research takes place at all departments, both bachelor and masters, as well as the readerships (‘lectoraten’ in Dutch, our two research groups). The various departments and readerships develop design research as a collaborative practice, working together with industry, knowledge institutes and societal partners. This embeds our design research in wider social, economic, cultural, technological and ecological contexts. It is also embedded in arts, crafts and academic practices. Our design research builds on knowledge in all these areas, and adds knowledge too, by asking questions, and by exploring new uses and defining new meanings for design.

Thinking and making go hand in hand in design research at Design Academy Eindhoven. Our design research is best described as thinking-through-making.

Thinking can take many forms and is not only done with the head. Collecting, documenting, mapping, translating, analysing and reflecting are all different ways of thinking to us. Thinking also helps to synthesise data into visualisations, share insights with others, create new opportunities for design, make space for alternative perspectives, create new meanings and dialogues, and explore new futures. We think with our heads, hands and hearts.

The making part of thinking-through-making includes crafting objects, organising activities, telling stories, and designing systems and experiences, for instance. All of these can be ways to generate as well as express knowledge in more than words alone.

The vast variety and richness in our thinking and making signifies the multimedia approach Design Academy Eindhoven takes to design research. This is continued in our choice of media and platforms to express the knowledge our design research creates. Publications, events, conferences and education are not just vehicles for sharing research results, they are an integral part of our design research because they help Design Academy Eindhoven to create new meanings for design. Everyone at our academy is involved and so are many of our partners. Get in touch if you want to be involved too.

Find our Research section in the Graduation Show on the 3rd floor. Follow the Design Research Podcast route to hear graduates talk about design research (see icons on your map and hear podcasts on designresearchpodcast.com). See also lexiconofdesignresearch.com to learn more. Contact us at designresearch@designacademy.nl.

Published: 29-Oct-2016 12:41
  • Thinking-through-making

  • Thinking-through-making

    Research section on the Graduation Show

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