chapter  5
5 Pages

A statement for attending to diverse economies through design research

WithCarl DiSalvo

In this essay, I reflect on the relationship between professional design practice and design research, and I explore the idea that perhaps design research need not be connected to professional design practice. I argue that disassociating design research from professional design practice may, in fact, provide the opportunity to explore alternative modes and purposes of design that clash with the underlying assumptions and principles that motive much professional design practice, namely those of free-market capitalism. I discuss three orientations toward design research: basic design research, engaged design scholarship, and designerly ways of knowing and explore how each orientation might lead to new insights into “what else design might be.” By separating design research from professional design practice, we may be able to discover and invent new forms of design, which would otherwise go unnoticed because they do not adhere to the expectations and traditions of the profession of design as we commonly know it.