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Design Research Concentration

The Design Research Concentration is for:

  • Designers engaged in architecture, interior design, graphic, or interaction design who require applied research skills from companies/organizations.
  • Researchers with a background in social sciences, anthropology etc. who conduct research for creative product development in industry — Healthcare IT companies, Engineering etc.
  • Business and marketing professionals to advance understanding of design research.

The Design Research concentration can be taken as independent coursework for professional advancement or applied to a Masters (30 cr) or PhD program.

Online Design Research Concentration

Course Description and Objectives
This course provides students an overview of applied research methods for use across design disciplines. The Design Research and Service Design course will train students to simultaneously consider environmental infrastructure as well as communication and interactions between people, products and information systems to aid the design process. In this course, students will be introduced to the human-centered approach to design of environment and services, with emphasis on complex operational environments.
The course introduces students to the history as well as techniques of design research and provides hands-on experiences through a design/research service design project.
Course Description and Objectives
Information Visualization and Visual Analytics considers external representation and interactive manipulation of information, data or artifacts to enhance communication, analytical reasoning and decision-making. This course draws theories and techniques of visual representation from diverse disciplines including design, cartography, information graphics and scientific visualization, data analysis and statistics. Intended to provide a basic foundation for information visualization and analytics using easy to use software tools, it will also provide a foundation for advanced courses on advanced information visualization techniques and big data analytics requiring software programming skills.
Course Description and Objectives
Why do we feel creative ideas flow at certain times and why do we get stuck at others? How do ideas shape and evolve in our minds? What is the nature of an “Aha” moment?
As the creative class today spends hours in visualizing and innovating a better future world, very little is known about how ideas are generated, conceptualized and effectively applied. The creative process involves multiple approaches and activities, one which makes design research both challenging and elusive. While we spend very little time in reflecting on the design process, this course addresses systemic ways of studying the creative process, and understanding how designers think, solve problems and communicate them to others. It will be of interest to students interested in understanding the creative process, be it designers, artists, psychologists or entrepreneurs.
Course Description and Objectives
Synthesis of environment and behavior themes in design research and application to professional practice. Research on socio-behavioral phenomena, user groups, places. Emphasis on integrated interactive character of elements.

Core online courses for degree

  • ARCHST 8850 Orientation Seminar (1 credit)
  • ARCHST 8630 Philosophy of Environmental Design Research (3 credits)
  • ARCHST 8887 Environment and Behavior (3 credits)
  • ARCHST 8050 Research Methods (3 credits)
  • ARCHST 8950 Qualitative Methods (3 credits)

Additional coursework