Research-driven Design: The Case of Repurposing Glass

By Tatjana Leblanc.

Published by The International Journal of Design in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: August 5, 2016 $US5.00

Design projects emerge for different reasons: to make products more efficient, reduce the number of parts, cut costs, increase desirability, revive a brand image, attract new users, etc. These goals, typically predefined, are what drive the design process. Unfortunately, they also tend to be limiting and offer little room for alternative approaches. Consequently, design solutions capable of addressing societal needs, breaking with tradition, or leveraging technological advances are less likely to materialize. Design problems are complex and understanding them requires deeper insights, non-traditional approaches, empathy, and expertise. This paper will explore how design research can shed light on a problem and reveal unforeseen design opportunities in addition to informing and guiding the creative process. A case study on research-driven sustainable design, which uses a problem-oriented approach, will not just illustrate the relevance of research-derived objectives and design criteria but also show how research findings, when combined with a creative mindset, can lead to innovation. We will also speculate on the advantages of research-driven design and discuss the relevance of problem-oriented approaches as well as the need to implement them in the front end of a design and development process.

Keywords: Design Research, Problem-oriented Design, Sustainable Design, and Urban Furniture Design

The International Journal of Design in Society, Volume 10, Issue 3, December, 2016, pp.31-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: August 5, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.063MB)).

Prof. Tatjana Leblanc

Professor, School of Design, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada