The particular epistemic and innovative potentials of Design Research are increasingly recognized within the wider academic sphere and are in constantly growing demand by businesses, institutions and politics alike. Yet, design research also is a field and practice that, due to its in-between nature, lacks the clear boundaries and formal dogmatisms of more traditional research disciplines, as well as their implicit notions of secured knowledge and linear progress.
Recognizing this inherent openness as one of its key qualities, the New Experimental Research in Design (in short: NERD) conference aims at providing a genuinely diverse and open platform for discussing, reflecting on and exposing to a wider public the manifold ways in which design’s unique perspective and proficiencies can intelligently be applied as a research competence. It does so by inviting presentations of empirical research projects by researchers from around the world and from all areas of design research with a focus on methodologically and thematically original approaches.
The emphasis on the empirical or the experimental is based on the conviction that the discussion about the merits and possibilities of design research is one that has to be led by example: What constitutes a fruitful method or approach only becomes apparent by it actually being conceptualized, worked out and eventually put into practice. For the same reason, NERD is decidedly not narrowed to a certain topic or school of thought, since the qualitatively new often exceeds such preconceived categories.
Developed and realized by BIRD, the Board of International Research in Design for the eponymous design research book series published by Birkhäuser, as an annual event with changing venues, this conference format has already proven its productivity twice.
3rd NERD, held at the Academy of Art and Design and hosted by the Institute Integrative Design in Basel Switzerland on November 1 & 2, 2019, once again will feature a careful selection of 30-minute presentations of research projects, each followed by another half an hour of time for questions and intense discussion with the audience.
For this, we invite speakers at an advanced graduate, doctoral or early post-doctoral level to present their ongoing research or completed theses. Contributions should employ an original and well-conceived design-based and empirical/experimental approach and may deal with all kinds of interesting, engaging and socially, culturally and intellectually relevant questions. Contributions by NERDs from other fields who share a similar commitment to new experimental approaches in design research are also welcome.