a research paper design studies develops a theoretical reflection on designed objects or other manifestations
The research paper takes your work â€“ possibly emerging from your position paper about the context of design â€“ and develops a theoretical reflection on designed objects or other manifestations.
Please choose the methods or approaches that you consider relevant and productive for analysing the object(s) and its/their place in the broad field of design.
For example, if you find it interesting to discuss the use of objects in rituals you might want to employ a socio-anthropological approach to test out how users react to a piece of design from you or others. If you are concerned about the impact of a design on a workforce you might want to inquire into labour conditions and health hazards at a site of production and use references/sources from NGOs or from political economy for an analysis. If you are interested in the way in which design appears as branded and commodified language you can look at semiotics and sign theories to decipher it. If you want to inquire into the way in which power relations are expressed or become manifest in designed objects or edifices, you might use architectural theory, feminism, post-colonial- or gender studies to explain the meaning of your chosen object(s)., etc., etc.
The research paper should be between 6 and 8 pages in length (plus footnotes, captions, list of sources/bibliography, Chicago style) and can contain additional material like visuals, sound- or movie files. It is important to use illustrations and media productively for your research paper so that they do not appear as decoration but are captioned and are referenced in the discussion and analyses of your text. When your research paper focuses on the reflection on your own practice, please feel free to develop a structure for the paper with reference to your own working process, by including for instance sketches, working drawings, plans etc.
Please use 12pt font size (choose a legible font, please)and double-spaced lines.
Theory should support the practice in your research paper; not only as explanation but to show how an awareness of ideas and concepts informs creative work in design.