Friday, 27 March 2009

Literature 'top ten'

Just a quick update on PhD and timing...
  • My research question currently stands at:
Understanding seven archetypes of designers
in the Dott 07 publicly commissioned projects
and their relevance to sustainable development contexts
  • I am in write-up stage at the moment
  • I counted that I have been doing my PhD for 21 months (yikes!)
  • With 15 months left and
  • 12 months till I need to hand in a draft submission of the thesis for review.
I am currently pulling together my literature review. The ten selected texts below illustrate the scope of my PhD, inclusive of 2 key texts important for my research methodology. The texts below anchor my research subject matter and PhD. The list is alphabetical with short descriptors on why they have been chosen.

PhD scope

Boland, J., Collopy, F., Ed. (2005). Managing as designing. California, Stanford University Press.
  • Boland and Collopy write about developing a new vocabulary of design, to transcend disciplinary boundaries. In the case of MaD, they are looking at integrating design and management. For this PhD, developing new vocabularies of design in the area of design methodology is a key focus to enable us to see how design can contribute to the public sector.
Burns, C., Cottam, H.Vanstone and C. Winhall, J. (2005). RED Paper 02: Transformation Design. London, Design Council.
  • Think-do tank RED at the Design Council published some of the very first case studies on utilising design practice for tackling social issues. This paper also discusses philosophical and practical challenges of designers working in this area, especially where designers are making the design process more transparent.
Chris Jones, J. (1992). Design Methods. New York, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
  • Design methodology sits at the heart of design practice and the activity of a designer. Chris Jones was one of the founders of the design methods movement and his book, first published in 1970, is a seminal text on the subject. The design methods movement since the 1970's moved through varying schools of thought (of which Nigel Cross has published extensively on). Chris Jones rarely agreed with these schools of thought, distancing himself from the movement and the community when the focus of design methods moved toward being systematic and scientific. Chris Jones believed the more important aspects of design methodology where the people involved and the complexities of design projects and process. In Design Methods, Chris Jones identifies levels of complexities in design practice- a helpful framework for us to understand the different levels design can intervene in society.
Collins, J. (2006). Good to Great and the social sectors: A monograph to accompany Good to Great. USA, Random House Business Books.
  • Collins gives a great overview of the difference between the business and social sectors. Collins (and many others) cite the biggest difference between public and private sector organisations is source of funding. Collins also draws out common issues both sectors face.
Design Council. (2007). "Designs of the Time (Dott 07)." from http://www.Dott
  • Dott 07 is the empirical focus of study of this PhD. It is uses 7 publicly commissioned projects as case studies to understand the utilisation of design methodology in public sector. These case studies profile 7 archetypes of designers in the public sector.
Cross, N. (2007). "Forty Years of Design Research." Design Studies Vol. 8(No. 1).
  • As mentioned before, Cross provides good historical overviews and summations of the design methods movement and their differing schools of thought since the 1960's. Cross writes extensively, and in more detail about this historical trajectory, in many published works.
Myerson, J. (2007). Pressing the Pause Button. London, Design Council.
  • Myerson chaired the InterSections 07 Conference held in NewcastleGateshead in October 2007. Myerson described the conference as a "watershed event" as the last event to bring together such high calibre speakers and address such contemporary design issues was 14 years earlier at international design summit, Design Renaissance, in Glasgow. In Pressing the Pause Button, Myerson summarises the key themes of the conference. He saw these as being four key roles of design practice: Designer as strategist; co-creator; storyteller and; rationalist. This summation provides a great starting point to ground the PhD research findings in contemporary design discussion and debate.
Thackara, J. (2006). In the Bubble: Designing in a complex world. Massachusetts, MIT Press.
  • Thackara discuss some key principles of designing in a complex world. Some of these principles were translated into Dott 07 and this book provides a very important foundation of which to understand Dott 07.

Eisenhardt, K. (1989). "Building Theories from Case Study Research." Academy of Management Review Vol. 14(No. 4): pp 532-550.
  • Eisenhardt connects Grounded Theory and case study research in her paper and outlines a process to do so. This PhD's undertaking mirrors Eisenhardt's process.
Glaser, B. G., Strauss, A. L. (2008). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. USA, Aldine Transaction.
  • Grounded Theory is the generation of theory from the data collected. GT is the philosophical underpinning of the research approach in this PhD.


Qin said...

wawoo... now I am bloody panicing... ;-)

Hopefully one day i can be that clear about what I did to myself in the past two years.


tank engine said...

Hi Lauren,
The only and only lecture I attended at Carnegie Mellon, was delivered by Dick Buchanan in 2006. His text? Chris Jones book. It was fascinating. He asked the question, like Dick only can, "What is the difference between Design and Craft"? The discussion has stuck with me ever since.