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Contextualising critical design: towards   Contextualising critical design: towards... - PDF Document (11 M)
Type Thesis
Citation MALPASS, M., 2012. Contextualising critical design: towards a taxonomy of critical practice in product design. PhD. Nottingham Trent University.
Title Contextualising critical design: towards a taxonomy of critical practice in product design
Creator Malpass, M
Date 2012
Award PhD
Level Doctoral
Description This study focuses on critical design practice. The research challenges the colloquial understanding of ‘critical design.’ It problamatises, defines and reassesses the concept of ‘critical design’ situating it among other forms of critical design practice.
The research reviews the field of activity from a historical perspective. It reviews contemporary activity in contexts of design research and the gallery system to establish domain authorities and theoretical perspectives that inform critical design practice. The research draws from a body of literature relating to design theory and critical design practice to identify several important themes by which to discuss the practice.
The research employs a hermeneutic methodology and engages expert ‘critical’ designers through a series of conversational interviews. The interviews are analysed using code to theory methods of inductive qualitative analysis and subjected to hermeneutic analysis that draws on the extensive contextual review. Salient concepts found in the discourse are extracted, theorised and organised to create taxonomy of critical design practice.
In the taxonomy, the field of critical design practice is categorised by three types of practice: Associative Design, Speculative Design and Critical Design. These three practices are differentiated by topics addressed in each and further differentiated by the type of Satire, Narrative and Object Rationality used in each practice.
The original contribution of this research is a Taxonomy of critical practice in product design, which consists of a written and visual dimension. The taxonomy acts as a discursive tool to chart design activity and it illustrates the diversity in critical design practice beyond the colloquial understanding of ‘critical design’.
The taxonomy presents three distinct types of critical design practice; it outlines the design methods used to establish the critical move through design and identifies the contexts where critical design is practiced. It can be used to compare projects, chart designers’ activity over time, illustrate trajectories of practice and identify themes in practice. The taxonomy provides theoretical apparatus to analyse the field. Such analysis contributes towards a discussion on critical design within design studies.
NTU School School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
University Nottingham Trent University
IRep collection Thesis Collection
Rights This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the first instance to the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
URL for this record
Record number 000021871
Related collections
Thesis Collection > School > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

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