Design and the Aesthetics of Research

Sage Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Visual Communication, 2010, 9 (4), pp. 425 - 439
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Mark Roxburgh's research over the past decade has focused on the evolving conceptualization, discourse and development of research methodologies for design. This has lead him to question the historical pattern of design whereby the methods and epistemologies of other disciplines are used without addressing the differences between them and design. Design is a complex activity enmeshed in many aspects of our lives. In his article in Design Issues (1992), 'Prometheus of the Everyday: The Ecology of the Artificial and the Designer's Responsibility', Manzini foregrounds the relational nature of this complexity by conceiving design (the artificial) as having an ecology. Roxburgh has written about these matters but his critique has conformed to the conventions of academic publishing and he has found articulating aspects of such complexity constrained by the limits of written language. Increasingly, in design, visualization is used to map complex relationships between things, ideas and actions. In this essentially visual essay, Roxburgh is attempting to graphically identify and explore the relationships of some of these concepts in a manner that echoes these trends and his own research practice. He is aware that sketches of complex phenomena, through a process of interpretation and abstraction, become somewhat reductive. The moments he draws on in crafting the depictions of his views are presented episodically rather than chronologically.
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