Publication 2799

Glanville R. (2015) The sometimes uncomfortable marriages of design and research. In: Rogers P. A. & Yee J. (eds.) The Routledge companion to design research. Routledge, London: 9–22. Fulltext at
There are many possible arguments the author of a chapter on design research might make, other than the one I chose to make here. And I have no doubt that what I have written will not sit comfortably or properly, in the minds of some readers. I can imagine the instantly dismissive tone of a certain type of response, precisely the sort of response I am trying to argue against. None of this makes my account wrong: it merely makes it contentious. It may be seen as contentious in what it includes, but also, and perhaps more so, in what and who it does not mention. The difficulty in any attempt to provide a position – or a review – is to find a line and then to hang a convincing and interesting story on it. In finding that line, any author will accommodate many views, but inevitably not all, and will feature the work of some, but not most, authorities. A further difficulty is not to drown the narrative of the story in reference, while yet showing the story is justifiable. And it is also to make space to include your own view, as author, without overplaying it. The real test of a text like this is, I believe, whether the argument helps you (the reader, but the author also) better to understand, and to act better. This is a reader’s judgement: like a placebo, the question is not what design research ‘really’ is, but how this account helps readers themselves understand and go forward.


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