making of the Declaration of Independence
Thinking, anthropology, and design

Research methods for art and design

Img_1144 I start teaching my new class on Research Methods for Art and Design on Friday. I am very excited about it as I attempt to adapt anthropological methods to art and design contexts. I must say, I was very disappointed by the texts available for the course. I ended up using as my  main texts (1)  the classic, H. Russell Bernard's Research Methods in Anthropology, 4th edition by Altamira Press 2005 and (2) John Jones' Design Methods, 2nd edition, which was developed by the British Design Council by published by Wiley and Sons 1992.

Bernard will probably be too advanced for the students and Jones will be too simple. The current design research books were completely unsatisfactory. Brenda Laurel's Design Research was not instructional enough to use as a textbook. There were a lot of opinions and positions stated, but it is not organized as a guide to how to do the actual research.  IanNoble and Russel Bestley's Visual Research was a disappointment. While visually stunning, I did not think it worked as a textbook either.

So there is a major knowledge gap, so as my course co-participants (students) follow along the research journey, I hope to discover what they need in a research methods for art and design textbook.


Tamara Christensen

Hi Dori
Though both at wonderground, we did not speak in Lisbon. I was pleased to see your thoughtful diary and impressed by your diligence. I am currently a PhD student at Arizona State University and am working with one of the professors on revamping our introduction to research methods course for the masters students. I would enjoy exchanging with you some of the ideas and texts that we are considering and hear more about how you are teaching your course.
Hope you are well!

Kind Regards~

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