The academic design practitioner

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This paper inquires into how creative practice-led projects can generate dynamic connections between the tools of research and the tools of design practice through case studies of individual academic design practitioner projects to provide unique contributions to industry and society. Each case study represents a different approach to academic design practice that enables recognition and reflection of potential shifts in industry-based design practice, based on the advent of advanced manufacturing technologies, innovation opportunity in small batch production and rationalising the complexities of commercialising 3D printed products. Comparing the case studies primarily addresses the themes of knowing how to engage a practice-based research project and the set-up of projects that can offer academic and industry relevant contributions. Evaluation of the case studies identifies core attributes of the academic design practitioner and how practice-based design research operating outside of the constraints of commercial design projects can advance knowledge uniquely beneficial to industry development. Significantly, the conclusions of the paper suggest that the academic design practitioner may be defined as a researcher with up-to-date competency in industry-based design practice, enabling them to adapt practice-led research projects that can strategically develop multi-tiered outcomes that supply academic and industry relevant outcomes concurrently.
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