Design is closely affiliated with the experimental, which is as an exploratory and probing undertaking. What does this mean in the context of design research? Today, design research relies on various and divergent notions of design experimentation and ideas about their value and uses. In one corner, experimentation is conceived of as designerly exploration into, for instance, materials, technologies, and expressions. In another corner, design experimentation is shaped according to hypothetical-deductive models of knowledge production inherited from science and engineering. Yet, in a third corner, design experiments are explored as a means for promoting social change or as a critique of political and ethical values. For instance, this can take the form of critique through fiction and utopias.
This raises a set of central questions for design research: How is design experimentation similar and different from experimentation in other research fields and areas? What is the role of exploration vis-à-vis experimentation in design research? How is it possible to provide a consistent account of research methods underlying experimental design research? Is it possible to stage design experiments other than as highly idealized probing situations? Can design experiments act as part of a critical aesthetic practice?
Nordes 2013 invites designers and design researchers to explore the many aspects of design research as experimental practice.
Possible themes include, but are not limited to:
Objects of design experiments
Design experiments as critique
Experiments in design research versus in science and art
Methods of experiments in design research
Places of design experiments
Experiments in design education
The Nordes 2013 conference invites original papers on various forms of experimentati