Social and cultural research explores the complexity of social life and the richness of cultural experience alongside the paradoxes of inequality and exclusion.
The Interventions project has been orgainsed by Joe Malia and Monica Moreno Figueroa to pair six researchers with six designers to explore the possibilities revealed when designers apply their knowledge and approach to the detailed and nuanced research undertaken by social and human scientists. An evolving synthesis of disciplines over a period of eight weeks. It builds upon an approach developed in this workshop
‘Researchers’ include staff and PhD students at Newcastle University who are in advanced stages of their current research. This is to ensure participants feel confident enough with their material to ‘put it to the test’ with a designer.
‘Designers’ include architects, interaction designers, product designers and service designers from around the UK and further afield.
Each team will develop their specific ‘project’ and which will go on to be shown in a public exhibition at the end of the project.
‘Interventions’ includes a series of events which will explore possible means of collaboration between Design and Social and Human Sciences, enriching and developing their respective methodologies and output while encouraging discussion with the public forum. The programme involves a series of seminars and collaborative workshops, followed by a public exhibition demonstrating the work undertaken and results achieved.
- Introducing the historical and contemporary relationship between Design and Social Sciences and Humanities.
- Outlining what can be learned from the understanding of research techniques used by designers and academics.
- Analysing and discussing a variety of projects that have emerged through such collaboration. An example offered is the Colour Beads Project developed between Joe Malia (Design) and Monica Moreno Figueroa (Sociology), highlighting the points in which the two disciplines overlap and indicating ways in which the process can be applied in forthcoming research projects.
- Illustrating how design can elicit feedback from the public by introducing them to branches of academic sciences in inspiring and engaging ways by the use of tool-kits that facilitate discussion and deepen understanding of research findings.
The Interventions project will provide a means for those involved in research within the Humanities and Social Sciences to work with selected Designers with experience in product, communication and interaction design.
During the programme, participants shape lines of enquiry within research to develop a series of interventions that:
- confront or support specific issues raised within research.
- use design as a means of engaging public interest and reaction.
- use design to develop new means of research.
The overall aim is to foster a creative environment allowing participants to consider the external aspects of Research and its Impact on the public to whom it is addressed.
The ultimate goal of these collaborations is to make complex research subjects accessible to the public.