SECAC-MACAA Richmond, VA
October 21-24, 2010
This year SECAC was held in Richmond, VA in partnership with Mid-America College Art Association hosted by the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. I had proposed a panel titled Research and Design: A match made in Heaven or Hell and it got accepted. I had very interesting paper proposals from which I chose 5 plus mine. Ambitious no? I had thought of not presenting my paper in favor of the applicants. However, one of the panelists had to decline participation thus, giving me a chance to present my paper. I had thought about this panel and paper since I started teaching the Capstone class at Harrington College in 2009.
Our panel had very interesting topics ranging from methodologies on how to teach and embed research in the design process, simple methodical analogies and parallels between the client-designer relationship and others. One paper in particular, Experience Design Models— a Compass for Integrating Methodology, Research and Criteria by Troy Abel from Virginia Tech and Andrea Quam from Iowa State University provided historical background for research methodologies in the practice of design education. It was very informative and it ended with a proposal for a rubric or project evaluation. Another paper presented by Adream Blair from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee titled Participatory Design Research and Ethnographic Research in the Classroom: Incorporating Research into the Design Curriculum presented an example of a comprehensive process book students put together documenting their process and results after a semester of intense research. This research involved developing and making products that would be sold to the consumers. Diane Gibbs from University of South Alabama titled Wait: We Were Supposed to Research? talked about students’ perceptions of research methodologies and the analogies she develops throughout the semester to help them understand how relevant research is to the design process. It was without a doubt a very funny and upbeat presentation. Diane has great sense of humor and the most remarkable statement she stated:
Design is like a good bra. It supports everything.