Katherine Bennett

Katherine Bennett, IDSA
Professor
Art Center College of Design 

On faculty in product design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA since 1988—Katherine Bennett, IDSA, specializes in understanding the user experience to discover design opportunities; research; strategy; information architecture; design development and design and technology history. 

Bennett has served in many roles at IDSA, including Board of Directors Education VP; West District education representative and chapter chair; and IDEA juror. She holds a MA in design research from Art Center and a BS in industrial design from the Philadelphia College of Art.


IDSA’s Relationship to Education: Hands-On Research Workshop" with Katherine Bennett and Ann Rich

Learn how to use new, qualitative research tools to study the relationship between IDSA and design education. Katherine Bennett, IDSA, and Ann Rich will show how to use generative tools in qualitative research. Participants will receive a kit to use in short sessions with conference attendees. They also will use a new iPhone app created by Propelland for students, designers and educators to record research sessions. Armed with the tool kit and the app, participants will conduct a few, short research sessions and upload recordings and photos. Results will be presented at next year’s conference.

An iPhone® is preferred but not necessary; the uploading of the materials will be a bit more difficult with other smartphones, but not impossible.


Systematic Analysis Method for Research: Opening the Mysterious Black Box

Qualitative research fieldwork produces clouds of data. Katherine Bennett, IDSA, believes no idea should be lost and a comprehensive understanding is produced. While much has been written about research methods and even individual analysis techniques, not much has been written on systematic methods of analysis. At the EPIC 2009 conference, John Payne conducted a workshop to develop an “analysis/synthesis palette” based on work done by Steve Baty. At the time, Payne described how most researchers talk about analysis, saying that we describe the framing and methods for the fieldwork, and follow that with something like, “and then the magic happens,” as if the analysis happens shrouded in mystery inside a “black box.”

To practitioners, students, and especially our clients, a better explanation of the process could be provided. Bennett describes a systematic method for analyzing research findings that provides robust opportunity for viable design action— resulting from insights gained in research fieldwork.