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UAL Research Online

Critical Design Practice: Theoretical Perspectives and Methods of Engagement

Malpass, Matt (2016) Critical Design Practice: Theoretical Perspectives and Methods of Engagement. The Design Journal: An International Journal for All Aspects of Design, 19 (3). pp. 473-489. ISSN 1460-6925

Type of Research: Article
Creators: Malpass, Matt


As interest in critical and speculative design grows in academic and cultural contexts, this paper outlines theoretical perspectives and methods used in critical design practice. The paper introduces these perspectives through a discussion on Para-functionality, Post-optimal design and the Aesthetics of Use as concepts developed to explain how the practice operates. It discusses how critical design is perceived as a form of design research. It argues that critical design practice is not objective or explanatory, but focuses on inter-subjectivity and proposition. In this context, design aims to generate debate, where the purposive function of the design is discursive. The paper discusses how the methods used in critical design practice contribute to research by exploring how the open-ended and relational characteristic of work produced by critical designers is embraced by disciplines external to product design. The paper concludes by outlining the contribution that critical design practice makes to the design discipline and beyond.

Official Website: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14606925.2016.1161943
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: critical design practice, design for debate, engagement
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Taylor & Francis
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 13 June 2016
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1080/14606925.2016.1161943
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2016 16:24
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2017 11:09
Item ID: 9670
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/9670

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