Teaching Advanced Research

HELPING STUDENTS NAVIGATE COMPLEX TERRAIN
Author:
Katherine Bennett
Company/School:
Art Center College of Design

Katherine Bennett
Art Center College of Design

Design students desire to practice research at an advanced level, which means becoming familiar with the variety of methods in current use. Benchmarking existing techniques, however, reveals at least sixty— too many for beginners to effectively understand. In addition, there is no fixed set of methods for studying all design problems. Certain methods work best to uncover certain types of knowledge. How will students know which tools are appropriate for their project? We help students navigate this complexity by familiarizing them with a selection of generative tools that best reflects the range of current practice. From that point, students can explore the rest and begin to create their own.

LEARNING BY DOING
Students gain experience with a wide variety of methods by engaging in in-class exercises, playing the part of research subjects and learning from the point of view of the participant. Afterward, they learn how the methods work in practice. After carefully framing and focusing the research goals for a project, they select an approach based on the knowledge sought...read more.