Probing into Research through Design: A Designer-led Inquiry of Design Research through Probe Studies in a Healthcare Context

Team: Sena Çerçi, John Vines, Marta Cecchinato (Northumbria University).


Timeframe: 2018-2021

This PhD project, led by Sena Çerçi, conceptually and pragmatically investigates the nature of knowledge generation in the research field of Research through Design (RtD). It will do this through a series of empirical studies focused on the role of (design) probes in RtD activities. The research will be contextualized and grounded in a specific healthcare context, as part of a multidisciplinary project exploring the potential for (digital) interventions for healthcare workers that aid them to understand and potentially alleviate feelings of fatigue. This research will have two core strands of inquiry. The first of these will involve a systematic review of and a qualitative inquiry on probes to contextualize this unique designerly technique. The knowledge gained from this first strand of inquiry will inform the latter stage of this research, which will focus around a series of case studies of Probes around fatigue. In doing so, we aim to probe into design epistemology and who the designer is, as well as exploring new roles for the designer in the evolving context of design as a discipline and research endeavour.

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