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Investigative Design / Materials


The slides from yesterday’s Arts Center presentation on Investigative Design can now be viewedmost of the material is taken from a previous presentation so regular readers will want to skip it. Thanks to Katherine Bennett for hosting and students for raising issues worth debating.


And the slide on credibility?

People are busy and your research is just one of many competing for your colleagues/client’s attention – they have their own opinions, have commissioned other studies and can draw on a range of experts. So why should anyone give your research the time of day? How to build credibility? For starters recognise and communicate the limits of (mostly qualitative) design research. We start out with opinions, and all things by the end of study we move onto having informed opinions or on rare occasions very informed opinions. Overstating the value of the research makes you a bullshitter.

Given the highly competitive working environments that exist, particularly in go-go corporate America there’s a pressure to generate a bit of hype. Your colleagues are smart so give it to them straight, warts and all – to enable them to use the information with their eyes open. Don’t consider your colleagues smart? You’re in the wrong job.

Of course, in some instances the research doesn’t need to be credible – ‘merely’ interesting – a topic for another day.


And if you’re wondering about the photo on the cover slide – snow flurries in a wintery Helsinki.