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Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (MIT Press) First Edition Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262122634
ISBN-10: 0262122634
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Editorial Reviews

Review

...an indispensable resource for everyone in the field.

(I.D.)

Bravo! This truly is a remarkable book about one of the most significant design practices of the 21st century. It will push and test your knowledge about the role and the value of design. A must-readif you are serious about redesigning the future.

(Clement Mok, Founder, Studio Archetype, and President, American Institute of Graphic Arts)

...this is a book to turn your career inside out with serious examination and reflection.

(Book Bytes)

We live in perhaps the most overtly (and, possibly, overly) designed time in human history. Design touches us all, regardless of career, country, or social status. If you want to understand the impact of design on your everyday life, the ways in which design research can make you a more effective creator of designed artifacts, or the ways in which those artifacts can best be brought to consumers, the essays collected in Brenda Laurel's Design Research are a great place to start. Whether you make things, sell things, study things, or use things, Laurel's latest offers a unique and powerful historical, analytical, personal, and practical overview of this vital field.

(Warren Spector, Studio Director, Ion Storm)

About the Author

Brenda Laurel is Chair of the graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and was the co-founder of Purple Moon. She is the author of Utopian Entrepreneur (MIT Press, 2001).

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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262122634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262122634
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The varied opinions among the existing reviews suggests this is somehow a strange subject area. I can only report on my own response, and I think this is a cool book. Before thumbing through to the preface you'll encounter a neat symbol of good design - a two page spread of the what's in the book. A true "table of contents," whose rows represent various aspect of design research, and whose columns are the book chapters. Each table cell is marked if that chapter pertains to that aspect. Pleasing to the eye and enormously useful, especially if you wish to use this as a text or part of some focused study.

Many chapters are authored by one or more designers who reflect on their own approach and experience in design. I found this to be a rich source of material for thinking about ways to create new things. I would think that nearly anyone whose job requires creative output will find here some interesting and useful tools to add to their collection.
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By A Customer on July 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you want a linear, predictable textbook explanation of how to do design research, this book isn't for you. If, however, you want to be grounded in an appreciation of the craft by people who live it everyday, and inspired to think differently about its many facets and future, I highly recommend it. This book seems intended for the serious practioner who wants to elevate his or her game.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoy some of her earlier work but this one is misleading, in particular for those wishing to study (methods of) design research. Laurel neither relates nor contributes to the discipline of design research in this book in a direct way. Design postgraduates looking for a good book on design research are better advised looking at Design Research by Peter Downton, which is more difficult to get but worth it and newer.
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Format: Hardcover
Brenda's collection is still the most comprehensive collection of diverse design research methods I can find. I use her book to inspire, intrigue, and sometimes perplex students, exposing them to lots of new ideas. I use the book in combination with Kuniavsky's more practical how-to information in Observing the User Experience. He provides too much detail and not enough high concept. The combination ends up working very well.

If I could choose only a single text, I would choose Brenda's design research book. I can fill in specifics about different techniques drawn from many books and web sites, but the creativity of methods and the clear belief in the power of design research conveyed in the book needs to come from real world writers, not just from the professor claiming it is so. Her book makes the case!
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Format: Hardcover
Don't be deterred by the reviews. Check the book out for yourself. Personally I'm a bright but somewhat undereducated design student and while I'm only on page 31 I'm impressed with the thoughts and teachings. The other reviews sound a little snotty as in if you're well immersed in this culture and topic, yep it might not be for you, but I'm not. I'm discerning enough to think for myself but so far the writing has helped me think and understand the subject and my 'profession' a great deal.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to say, on the whole I was actually pretty disappointed in this book. It came off frustrating, I think, partly because there was no cohesive voice. Usually, one would say this is indicative of the design research community as a whole, but I found myself having a hard time switching from topic to topic so fast - the essays were pretty short, and as such, didn't contain a whole lot of information and/or depth to them. The most disappointing section, to me, was the first on "People," because while this is one of the topics (ethnography and the study of people) that I'm most interested in, the essays only seemed to wade into the area knee-deep. That said, there were a few interesting gems in the "Process" section, especially Sean Donahue and Eric Zimmerman's essays. But in reality, I'd pass the book up for a book that more consistently and deeply approaches the topic of design research.
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Format: Hardcover
Disappointing. Book is a mishmash of essays most of which are only minimally helpful to someone seeking a logical and organized presentation of information about design research methods. Many of the essays are rambling and self-congratulatory. The selection of an odd yellowish green make sections in which color was used difficult to read. Great topic for a book - but, unfortunately, this one is a waste of time and money.
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Format: Hardcover
I found the book to be a great insight to the design process. By collecting different designers stories of their design process, it was very interesting, inspiring and definitely educational.
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