Critical Design and Design Research

I think my issues with these papers have been that there is a lot of talk about how critical design can be utilized in design research and other areas of design, but it never gets elaborated on. So I appreciate that “Difficult Forms: Critical Practices of Design and Research” finally says more than a sentence. Unfortunately, I barely feel like I can understand it. What I gathered and agree with is that critical practices is great for a reflective process. However I do not think that means that it is entirely separate from design research. I think it could be a part of the reflective process at the end or as a means of inspiration. Through critical design and the insights gained from it, there is the possibility to be led to a more interesting area to investigate via design research. It can reveal behaviors and opinions that aren’t obvious to an outsider that may be useful or interesting to investigate and apply to design today. One thing that bothers me is that design research can be referred to as a means to play around with buttons on a product. While it may do that, I believe that design research is deeper and provides more valuable insights in how people act in ways that don’t require brain scans. While people and companies do need to make money, this side of research should not be forgotten or mistaken for the monetary seeking area.


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