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By Danielle Arets

Designers need scientist to integrate academic thinking in their work and scientist certainly need designers to open up the field and explore other ways of creating knowledge.” With that statement designer, scientist and DDW ambassador Koert van Mensvoort kicked off –what turned out to be a fierce - discussion on science and design. According to Rob Zwijnenberg (professor University of Leiden), scientific collaborations with designers are fruitful, because designers can open up the research with disruptive ideas and bring in new perspectives. However he stresses the importance of designers being really involved in the process. “They need to have hands on experience in order to really make valuable contributions, they need to surprise me.

Design Researcher Mike Thompson (studio Thought Collider) agrees. “You need to explore the material you work deeply; only than you can fully grasp the potentials and limits and add new perspectives."

For a fruitful collaboration between science and design it is furthermore important that the often intuitive approach of designers is shared with other disciplines. Therefore designers need to be able to express their often very intuitive approach, mentions Reader Bas Raijmakers (Design Academy Eindhoven). “That is only possible if they systematically reflect on the work they do. That is also what scientist are doing.” Furthermore Raijmakers and his colleague Danielle Arets mention that designers, by their often very communicative and appealing projects, can also contribute to the debate around scientific developments and create upstream engagement early on in the research process. Which is very much agreed upon by Koert van Mensvoort, whose Invitro Meat Cook Book certainly open ups the debate around artificial meat.

According to Rob Zwijnenberg the book could be a bit more edgy: “It doesn’t bring me completely new perspectives.” This turns into a lively discussion between Zwijnenberg and Van Mensvoort that shows out that the conversation around these collaborations is very crucial to fully understand the various approaches.

The lively Create out Loud show concludes with the dismantling projects of BAD award winners Agi Haines, Emma Conley and Isaac Monté whose bio design projects show out that design research can bring in new perspectives, but maybe more importantly give input for new questions that can’t be answered yet by scientist nor the designer himself yet. That is why this is such an important award, mentions Angelique Spaninks (MU), because it connects not only science and design but also involves the art world.

Published: 21-Oct-2015 19:50
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