Literature Review 02

  • November 09, 2020
  • // Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

Tin, Mikkel B. 2013. “Manifesto: Making and the Sense it makes”. In Studies in Material Thinking. Vol.9 Inside Making.

  • Making as practical dimension of culture, as inquiry and study
  • Transforms matter, articulates meaning
  • Cognitive dimension: it makes sense, creates new means for communication
  • Sense not as in ‘ordinary’ knowledge, but as ‘tacit’. Sense that is understood without saying
  • Provides reflection on essence of meaning and communication

    Making as source of non-scientific cognition

  • Intentional forming process whose outcome is articulated meaning
  • Forming process involves body and is performed as bodily process
  • Making skills in form of practical experimentation rather than theoretical
  • Concrete solution to given problem
  • Reasons for keeping ::distance from science::: Constraints imposed by scientific rationality > begin making free from scientific rational concerns

    Making as object of study in academic research, as object of scientific cognition

  • Making in scientific research: Making as non-conceptual whereas scientific research is conceptual?
  • ::Making as searching approach:: or danger to being reduced to its mechanical aspects, material results, social preconditions? > When it becomes an object of scientific research, it gets dissected.
  • “When women or mental patients or ethnic groups or, for that matter, the third world, were ::introduced as fields of study, they ended up in an asymmetrical relationship as merely the object:: on which research is carried out by a subject who initiated and undertook the research”
  • Disregard its non-conceptual aspect and overlook its intentional character

    Making as part of academic research, source of scientific cognition redefined

  • Needs set of concepts to clarify focus and mutual understanding, concepts such as embodiment, bodily skills, materiality, knowledge, tacit knowledge, practice and creation
  • It is an explorative and creative process.
  • It is intentional but engages the skilled body.
  • It follows an ordered sequence of experiments and reflections. 4. It forms and transforms materiality.
  • It generates a specific knowledge.
  • It articulates a meaning that can only partly be conceptualised.

Requirement of scientific research

  1. Clearly formulated premises and research questions.
  2. Adequate methods and theoretical tools to answer the research questions, including reproducibility and documentation.
  3. Adequate tools for self-criticism and impartial assessment.
  4. Adequate format for presentation and assessment.
  5. Communicable and transferable results, that are also compatible with other disciplines. 6. Institutional integration.

Mackenzie, N.,Knipe, S. 2006. “Research Dilemmas: Paradigms, methods and methodology”. Issues in Education Research, 16 (2), 193 – 205.


  • Definition: data collected, analysed and interpreted to understand, describe, predict or control an educational or psychological phenomenon or to empower individuals in such contexts

  • influenced by the researcher’s theoretical framework

  • establish relationships between constructs that describe or explain a phenomenon by going beyond the local event and trying to connect it with similar events


  • Theoretical framework (distinct from a theory) that influences the way knowledge is studied and interpreted. Should be first thing to be determined, as it influences research methods used

  • “a loose collection of logically related assumptions, concepts, or propositions that orient thinking and research”. The ::philosophical intent or motivation:: for undertaking a study

  • belief about the nature of knowledge, a methodology and criteria for validity

    (Post)Positivist Paradigm

  • ‘science research’, the dry belief, approaching everything from a science-y approach

  • Aims to test a theory

  • Quantitive method of data collection

    Interpretivist/constructivist paradigm

  • Intention of understanding the world of human experience (reality is socially constructed)

  • Relies on participants view of the situation that is being studied

  • Does not begin with fixed theory, but ::develops meaning and theory along research process::

  • Qualitative data collection

    Transformative paradigm

  • Emerged from dominantly ‘white’ research, to address issues of social justice and marginalised peoples

  • “more complete and full portraits of our social world through the use of multiple perspectives and lenses”

  • Believes ::inquiry needs to be intertwined with politics and a political agenda::

  • contain an ::action agenda for reform:: “that may change the lives of the participants, the institutions in which individuals work or live, and the researcher’s life”

  • Keywords: Critical theory, Neo-marxist, Feminist, Critical Race Theory, Freirean, Participatory, Emancipatory, Advocacy, Grand Narrative, Empowerment issue oriented, Change-oriented, Interventionist, Queer theory, Race specific, Political, … ,

  • Understand dynamics of relationships between knowledge/meaning, power and identity

  • Considering contextual and historical factors

    Pragmatic paradigm

  • Pragmatic and mixed methods research


  • Collection of rules and methods by which research is undertaken

  • Principles, theories and values of a research approach

  • Overall approach to research linked to paradigms


  • Use quantitative and qualitative data collection

  • Mixed methods

  • Define paradigm first, as it influences methodology and methods used

    Zimmermann J., Forlizzi J. 2014. “Research Through Design in HCI” in J.S. Olson and W.A. Kellogg (eds.), Ways of Knowing in HCI, Springer Science+Business Media, New York.

  • Research through design: Using design as a reflective practice. Reinterpreting and reframing a situation through processes of making and artefacts

  • Reflective in (re)interpreting conventional understanding of the world

  • Reproducible, but others might necessarily not create the same outcome/artefact

  • Focus on how design actions produce new knowledge

  • ::Knowledge can be::: novel perspectives, insights, implications, new design methods, discursive artefacts which sensitise the audience and broaden space for design actions

  • Focus on producing knowledge differentiates RtD from commercial design practices

    Lab Practice of RtD

  • Design action with ::experimental evaluation process::

  • Novel and aesthetic ways for interaction

    Field Practice

  • Participatory, user centred design

  • Merges research practice from sociology/anthropology with design action

  • Problematic situations are mapped out and design ideas are offered to improve those

    Showroom Practice

  • Methods from art, fashion, design

  • Design of ::provocative things that challenge status quo::

  • Critical design stimulates people to reconsider and reflect the world they inhabit and to notice often overlooked things

  • ::Knowledge produced::: Characterisation of issue being critiqued. Drawing attention to underlying issue. Process used to arrive at problem framing. Final artefact.

    Christopher Frayling, framework for research in the arts

  • Research into design: Research of the activity of design itself. The way of design and design as reflective practice

  • Research for design: to advance the practice of design, new methods, tools, approaches, implications, problem framings

  • Research through design: Focus on improving the world by making disruptive artefacts, ::complicate or transform:: current state of the world. Speculates what future should and could be, based on ::empathic understanding of stakeholders.:: “Synthesis” of behavioural theory (reflecting on how we behave and act). Produced knowledge functions as ::proposal not prediction.::

    Rich Interaction Design (Lab)

  • Push for design systems that would fully engage people’s bodies and range of senses as channels for input (moving away from the mechanical constraints, like labelled phys. buttons)

  • Workshops to understand how to design those systems. Outcome as approach to potentially better forms of interaction

  • Vending machine with ethics: conficianism, kantian rationalism, … > revealing that many ::ethical aspects are embedded in machines::

  • ::Ethics can be imbued to design:: by using perspective to drive design process

  • Ethics as lens for investigation

    Participatory Design and User-Centered Design (Field)

  • Marxist philosophy: New design approach to increase democracy and protect workers

  • Socially prototyping before committing to the technology

  • Investigation how technology might create new practices, informing design

  • Artefacts as research contribution

  • Refocusing research method specific to an ::investigation of speculative and desirable future::

    Critical Design (Showroom)

  • Provocative artefacts that make people think, notice, reconsider some aspects of the world

  • Design that refutes the status quo

  • 1990s: Movement ::toward conceptual design:: rather than finished artefacts

  • Research: problem selection, exploration of many possible forms, iterative refinement

  • Knowledge captured through ::documentation describing process, artefact and intended influence.::

  • Artefacts as ::speculation on futures that reveal insight:: on how people understand and engage with new technology, and ::what roles those technology play as they enter people’s life:: more and more (175)

  • Focus is on subjectively preferred future as opposed to scientific research aimed at universal truth

How, True, Real: Types of Knowledge

  • How: From engineers on technical possibilities

  • True: From behavioural scientists, models of human behaviour

  • Real: From Anthropologists: Description of how the world currently works

  • With those, ideate possible preferred futures to challenge and advance current state

  • design as a ::process of repeatedly reframing a problem through a process of proposing possible solutions::

Research outputs

  • Technical opportunities
  • Expose gaps in behavioural theory
  • Change current state, creating new situations and practices to investigate
  • By making many iterations of same problem, RtD can reveal design patterns around problem framings
  • Reflective practice of reframing underlying situation
  • ::Investigation of the future as a way of understanding the world::


  1. Select

    • New material, context, target, insight, theoretical framework
  2. Design
  3. Lab, Field, or Showroom, or mixed?
  4. Literature Review, questions and concerns
  5. Fieldwork, workshops, exploring ideas,
  6. Understand current state of world and how I might offer new perspective, problem framing, which provides path to preferred future
  7. Create, iterate, refine, reflect, making&critiquing
  8. Evaluate
  9. Challenge initial framing
  10. Reflect on each artefact as they embody different solution
  11. Document how framing evolves and changes
  12. Reflect and disseminate(share)
  13. Thesis, Video, Photos, (Social)Media
  14. Repeat
  15. Repeatedly investigate a situation to create good work


  • empirical materials - case study, personal experience, introspective, life story, interview, observational, historical, interactional, and visual texts - that describe routine and problematic moments and meanings in individuals’ lives

  • linking the research questions to the methodological approaches

  • Critical and self-reflexive enquiry: questioning my role in research process

  • Immersing yourself > give events context, understanding the world of others as nearly as possible (live with them)

  • depict the participant’s view of social reality

  • Interactive > ::participants teach the researcher about their world::

  • “Empirical research in a reflective mode starts from a sceptical approach to what appear at a superficial glance as unproblematic replicas of the way reality functions”


  • Improvements in ::justice are related to power:: : who has it, how it is exercised and where it manifests itself.

  • Mobilise ::social action / evoke participatory experience through imagination, performance, art, storytelling:: (Ellis and Bochner, 1996: 30)

  • Readers who identify with an oppressed group may achieve a unique outcome through reading about rhetorical figures who are metaphors for themselves. ::Self-re-cognition may result in an imaginative naming of one’s conditions.:: (Barone, 1995: 69)

  • We ::re-present stories told by subjugated Others,:: stories that would otherwise be discarded. And we get a hearing. (Fine, 1998: 150).

  • Empowerment suggests (1) an agent of empowerment, (2) a notion of power as property, and (3) some kind of vision or desirable end sate

  • To empower someone then means, to authorise others/yourself to give something. But to ::give/practice authority can be paradoxical::: institutional authority contradicts democratic and collective ideal. For feminists whose right to speak and hold power is itself under attack in a patriarchal society. (If you take power and authorisation, those same qualities are under attack when you try to abolish the patriarchy/racist/homophic/etc society)

  • Empowerment suggests power as kind of property that can be given away, shared, borrowed (18) > try ::not to encourage uni-directional models of power::

  • Empower people for what? What might the desirable end state be? And do we all agree on that?

  • Improvement

  • improvement in social justice in and from education.

  • Research result: knowledge and improvement

  • Knowledge and learning

  • Main reason for research: Get knowledge and learn from it

  • Radical change of beliefs and values

  • Improvement in knowledge are uncertain > ready to challenge others and myself

  • Results may surprise or discomfort

  • Collaboration and consultation with research community

  • Work together with people of the community to do the research

  • Openness

  • Open to viewpoints of wider community

  • Open to socio-political groups

  • Reflexivity

  • Reflect about my own socio-political position/interest

  • Reflect about own understanding and value

  • Acknowledge their allegiance to beliefs, values and traditions

  • Consider social and educational change

  • There is no such thing as perfect research

  • Try to narrow down, focus. Good research needs reiteration/improvement. It’s never perfect.

  • Responsibility

  • Recognise responsibility

  • Open research to community and education

  • Foucaul-Analysis: Power is not simply repressive but productive. It is everywhere and alongside power there is resistance.