Design practice: routine creativity

Kennedy, Paul (2002) Design practice: routine creativity. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The aim of this research is to understand and explain designers - what makes them tick, what motivates them and why they do things in the way that they do. A research approach specific to people, being designers, and the social science framework associated with Pierre Bourdieu has been rigorously engaged. Designers have been spoken to face-to-face and given the opportunity to raise their concerns so that their engagement with design production is illuminated and considered.

A series of interviews has been carried out with practising designers. The early interviews exposed areas of interest that could best be investigated by targeting older designers who could recount the changes in design production they had witnessed during their working lives. This life history approach has yielded social as opposed to technical descriptions of design practice and has identified significant technological and organisational changes that have affected designers in the past 30 years.

The design habitus is a system of dispositions that enables designers to act as they do and be successful in such a complex, interactive activity as designing. Designers display the habitus through their practice and their interactions with other people, with the products they design and the machinery they use when designing. They make distinctions about the products of their activity on through designers’ continuous physical engagement with the objects of their work and their design colleagues. Their attitude to technology is typified by a willingness to embrace the new; they create new things themselves and this leads them to adopt new tools and adapt them to do their job.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Fowler, Bridget and Scott, Brian
Date of Award: 2002
Depositing User: Elaine Ballantyne
Unique ID: glathesis:2002-1847
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 25 May 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:47

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