Critical Journal Contextual Portfolio

A paper presented at the Research Through Design conference in Delft, The Netherlands, 19-22 March 2019. The full paper is available to download via this FigShare link. My presentation slides include diagrams that are not in the paper, Dropbox link here (PDF, including presenter notes). You can purchase a copy of the Contextual Portfolio I produced to disseminate the Endgame Part 1 project discussed via my Blurb site here.


Critical Journal / Contextual Porfolio: A framework for documenting and disseminating Research Through Design as a scholarly activity.

This paper presents a two-part framework for documenting and disseminating Research through Design (RtD) as a scholarly activity, intended primarily for designers new to scholarly research and students developing Research through Design (RtD) as a mode of inquiry. The first part of the framework provides guidelines for documenting RtD through a Critical Journaling practice, which emphasises chronologically capturing and reflecting on: contextual research, self and peer critique, and regular ‘overview maps’, alongside iterative design processes. The second part argues for disseminating RtD projects through Contextual Portfolios, which situate design artefacts alongside key insights from primary research, innovative design processes, and self and peer critique, in order to explicitly frame contributions to scholarly knowledge. The framework is demonstrated using an ongoing RtD project ‘Endgame’; I show how ‘research data’ drawn from my Critical Journaling practice is used to produce Contextual Portfolios, in order to present the research in different contexts. The paper concludes by highlighting the challenges of demonstrating scholarly rigour underpinning RtD that is ‘equivalent’ to traditional scholarly publications and suggests ‘open access peer review’ and an RtD community publishing model, supported by university presses.