CN13 - Imagining critical practises in practise based design research: What is your ‘critical’ approach?

Conveners: Shana Agid, Sissel Olander, Yoko Akama, & Tau Lenskjold

The idea and concept of ‘criticality’ in design research has emerged as a contestation over the sites, forms, methods, and capacities of and for design. These debates are influenced by social science inquiry, cut across design fields, and are explored through different approaches to and investments in design research. These include ‘critical’ and ‘post-critical’ orientations in constructive, speculative, and co-design design research; grounding and emergent critical frameworks in ‘change-oriented’ practise-based design research; political and ethical investments that challenge assumptions in design research, and more. This conversation will engage conveners and participants in asking how the notion of the ‘critical’ shapes our practises, approaches to practise, and the knowledge, action, proposals, or ways of working related to them. Building on short introductory presentations of the conversation’s framing question, ‘What are the different kinds of critical strategies that researchers pursue and how can they be conceptualised?’, participants and convenors will make inquiry-based visual / textual explorations of our ‘critical approaches’, examining how – as practitioners and researchers – we understand, shape, and become aware of ‘critical’ ideas, outcomes, processes, and possibilities in design research.

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