RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY IDENTIFICATION: A PEDAGOGICAL FRAMEWORK FOR DESIGN RESEARCH
DS 110: Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2021), VIA Design, VIA University in Herning, Denmark. 9th -10th September 2021
Editor: Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon
Author: Vaidya, Gaurav; Kalita, Pratul Ch.
Institution: Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India
Section: Research in Design and Engineering Education Practice
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2021.45
‘Where do I start from?’ More often than not, design researchers face this question early on in their research projects. The initial ambiguity frequently results in jumping quickly into the project and leads to shift in research focus time and again. To set the initial direction, a researcher needs to have an open mind-set and explore the latest changes occurring in the present world, constantly thinking about innovative opportunities. Finding new/innovative opportunity areas for carrying out a research and defining the initial boundaries of a problem space are some of the foremost priorities of a researcher. Although design students tend to approach research problems in a more intuitive and opportunistic style, the method followed by other disciplines such as STEM and health is usually more organized. This often leads to tension when a design research project demands collaborative work of an interdisciplinary team. In this paper, we share an outcome of a study involving an interdisciplinary team working on identifying opportunity area for design research. The project is used as a case study to illustrate the key phases and their attributes involved to identify significant area for conducting a design research project. The framework developed during the current study is found to be handy in organizing our thoughts and setting our initial research intent. Based on the study, we propose a pedagogical framework to better equip design researchers to work in collaboration for recognizing field and scope of a design research project.
Keywords: Research intent, collaborative work, research gap, design research, design education