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Dimensions of design: a framework for defining design practice

Dimensions of design: a framework for defining design practice
Dimensions of design: a framework for defining design practice
The starting point for this thesis is the disciplinary fragmentation of design practice against a background of new technologies, new concepts in design process and new modes of communication, and a questioning of the position of traditional design disciplinary sub-divisions within a recent historical context. There is an initial exploration which involves a case study engagement with design practice. This exploratory stage comprises an engagement with London-based interactive design company Kin Design, followed by an immersive participatory case study working as a production designer on the 2016 television show Eurotrash. This leads on to the theoretical development stage that comprises three interview-based case studies that explore design practice at Applied Works, Its Nice That and C&CO. The final section of this stage of the enquiry sets out the core theoretical proposition that has been developed. The thesis proposes a spatial model through which a broad range of design practice can be analysed and defined. The theoretical framework offers a set of mutable elements within a contextual space that are shared across contemporary design practice. The continua of the dimensional space, and the flexible taxonomy of the design practice elements, enable this theoretical framework to define a fragmented design disciplinarity within a single contextual model. The final section of the thesis presents a critical implementation of the model to test the theoretical framework that has been proposed. This stage of the enquiry comprises a second set of interview-based case studies to explore the contrasting design disciplines of Morag Myerscough, Smart Design and Golden Wolf. Each section of this enquiry contributes to an iterative development of the theoretical framework, with an analysis of the implementation stage offering some final taxonomical and spatial adjustments. The thesis is written as a narrative account of this iterative development through the case study engagements and critical reflections. The conclusion draws together the critical reflections on the implementation process and presents a final version of the model. This thesis contributes a theory of design practice that defines a fragmented field of disciplinary strands within a single theoretical framework. The spatial taxonomy that has been developed can also offer a pedagogical tool kit for communicating a broader transdisciplinary model of contemporary design practice.
University of Southampton
Stevens, Paul
75839f87-6325-48a7-9a72-0772934cb032
Stevens, Paul
75839f87-6325-48a7-9a72-0772934cb032
Manghani, Sunil
75650a9a-458d-4e1a-9480-94491300e385
Parikka, Jussi
cf75ecb3-3559-4e53-a03e-af511651e9ac

Stevens, Paul (2019) Dimensions of design: a framework for defining design practice. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 477pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The starting point for this thesis is the disciplinary fragmentation of design practice against a background of new technologies, new concepts in design process and new modes of communication, and a questioning of the position of traditional design disciplinary sub-divisions within a recent historical context. There is an initial exploration which involves a case study engagement with design practice. This exploratory stage comprises an engagement with London-based interactive design company Kin Design, followed by an immersive participatory case study working as a production designer on the 2016 television show Eurotrash. This leads on to the theoretical development stage that comprises three interview-based case studies that explore design practice at Applied Works, Its Nice That and C&CO. The final section of this stage of the enquiry sets out the core theoretical proposition that has been developed. The thesis proposes a spatial model through which a broad range of design practice can be analysed and defined. The theoretical framework offers a set of mutable elements within a contextual space that are shared across contemporary design practice. The continua of the dimensional space, and the flexible taxonomy of the design practice elements, enable this theoretical framework to define a fragmented design disciplinarity within a single contextual model. The final section of the thesis presents a critical implementation of the model to test the theoretical framework that has been proposed. This stage of the enquiry comprises a second set of interview-based case studies to explore the contrasting design disciplines of Morag Myerscough, Smart Design and Golden Wolf. Each section of this enquiry contributes to an iterative development of the theoretical framework, with an analysis of the implementation stage offering some final taxonomical and spatial adjustments. The thesis is written as a narrative account of this iterative development through the case study engagements and critical reflections. The conclusion draws together the critical reflections on the implementation process and presents a final version of the model. This thesis contributes a theory of design practice that defines a fragmented field of disciplinary strands within a single theoretical framework. The spatial taxonomy that has been developed can also offer a pedagogical tool kit for communicating a broader transdisciplinary model of contemporary design practice.

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Published date: July 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 442041
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/442041
PURE UUID: d26553fd-660a-457c-ac5c-70e1ed6f5dc1
ORCID for Sunil Manghani: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6406-7456
ORCID for Jussi Parikka: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2248-6377

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Jul 2020 16:30
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 03:10

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Contributors

Author: Paul Stevens
Thesis advisor: Sunil Manghani ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Jussi Parikka ORCID iD

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