Monsters in the Borderlands: Designer-academics in action
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Much attention has been paid to how design – as an activity and a discipline – takes shape, with a focus on the professional designer. This paper explores a different kind of design practitioner - the ‘designer-academic’ - who holds a unique position at the border of pedagogy, practice and research in the creation not only of new ‘things’, but also processes and ways of working. Taking a reflective look at two projects emergent over a thirty-six month period we provide a glimpse into the everyday complexities of design research-in-action. We argue that we should look at designer-academics alongside the ‘outstanding’ professional designers, for they stand proudly at the borders of knowledge domains and epistemological traditions and are worthy of more attention in the annals of design theory and history.
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