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Title: Taking it further: The practical implications of action research in the field of design
Authors: Du Preez, Vikki 
Keywords: Action research;Collaboration;Constructivism;Design thinking;Design process
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Academia
Abstract: This paper aims to showcase the positive implications of action research as a methodology when investigating design areas of interest. The practice of design, as well as design thinking, is compared to action Research, and in particularly participatory action research (PAR), to highlight the similarities in processes and knowledge generation. Participatory action research compliments the practical nature of design, which is often solution or goal orientated. This paper also explores the social nature of both design and action research as a critical link. The benefit of action research is two-fold: firstly, it allows the researcher to gain general knowledge about the area of study while, secondly, generating specific information which can be used to change the situation (Small, 1995: 942). The paper draws on findings from an MTech Degree study entitled Networks For Design, Through Design which used participatory action research as the main methodology of the project. The study focused on Industrial Design students and their, often negative, views on group work and collaboration. The paper discusses the various phases of the study in relation to participatory action research and describes how this methodology supported and guided the project outcomes. The aim of this paper is not to establish a single methodology suited to design research, but rather to offer suggestions and identify action research as a methodology which supports design research.
Appears in Collections:FID - Conference Proceedings

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