The other day we had a lecture on design research. We were first asked what we thought design research was. There was silence.

“I know what research is,” I thought. But design research. Why did the posing of the question make it seem different?

I ventured a guess. “Methods,” I said. It went on the board. And eventually we came up with a list.

  • methods
  • literary review
  • product research
  • process
  • case studies
  • critical design
  • theory
  • design for knowledge

The last one really interested in me: designing to create knowledge. We also mentioned artifacts as knowledge. I had not really considered this before, but the idea of creating knowledge through design seemed intriguing.

Though after thinking about it for a bit, it certainly doesn’t seem like anything new, as throughout time artifacts have embodied knowledge.

Still, the lecture struck me. And as I consider thesis topics, I’m wondering if this could fit in with my unformed idea.

As the lecture continued, another point that stood out was that interaction design has yet to make an impact outside its community. Why is this? Is it simply a matter of industry not yet fully accepting the value of interaction designers?

What will happen when interaction design make an impact? Will the world become a better place? Will there be enough interaction designers?

Is the answer lots of interaction designers? Are lots of interaction designers desirable? Can we be mass produced?