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Sociable Media at ARD 8 – Nîmes 2013

EnsadLab Sociable Media attended the 8th ARD (Ateliers de la Recherche en Design) at Nîmes. The Design PhD Student network “Design en Recherche” was also represented by Marine Royer and Max Mollon (check @designResearch_ on twitter for more info). It was two and a half days balanced between workshops, talks and good times enjoying each other. Nice to see you Nicolas Nova, Stephane Vial, Marine Royer, Alain Findeli, …

The ARD community
The ARD community

Six years of ARD

We had the chance to hear an opening talk by Alain Findeli playing back the story since the first ARD 6 years ago. In 2006 they took place at Nimes, back in those days the challenge was mainly to build the community :

  • Inviting researchers from disciplines related to design,
  • Defining what design research is,
  • Setting specific questions around methodology, epistemology, strategy, politics, praxeology, ethics, criteria, communication, economy, organization, education,
  • Building a scientific theoretical corpus coherent with parent disciplines – that is where Alain Findeli’s “bread crown” metaphor came from, actually the bread crown (or the bagel or donut) represents well the fact that design research is surrounded of other disciplines (and their respective methodologies and theoretical background), but design research itself, in the center of the “theoretical frame bagel” leaves an empty space (at least, at that time), now this corpus is under construction.

Consequently to the first ARD, a master in design were created in Nimes university and opened in 2011, focusing on “anthropology of design projects”, aesthetic of design, theory and methodology of research through design, etc.
The next ARD where Nancy in 2007, Bordeaux 2007, Nantes 2008, Tours 2008, Paris 2009, Tunis 2011, and the next one might be Montreal 2014.

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The conference room
The conference room

Workshop activities

Workshops allowed us to collaborate with PHD students on their research question – for instance, How could an exhibition scenography explain the design process of an object? Workshop by Brigitte Auziol, or How could invasive biotechnologies evolve in the future provoking ethical issues? Workshop by Marine Royer. The last workshop session concerned the public acceptation of micro-algue technology in a close future, and how the designer can make a difference. Nicolas Nova and Jean-François Basserau ran the group I was part of. I will focus here on the second workshop session: “imagine the designer of tomorrow” in education, industry, institution, etc. – the one I attended about education was really challenging and inspiring, it was given by Alain Findeli, Stéphane Allé, Georges Scambach and Dominique Sciama. My group started from the claim that everybody has a part in him of a designer (that is revealed when tinkering something for instance). Moreover, the fact is that design community is too closed on itself, we came up with the idea that educating non-designer with the principles of design practice and design thinking could be a benefit for their life, hybriding their jobs and most of all allowing other fields to become “design-sensible” – able to collaborate with designers. For provocation, we proposed to give design courses starting at the age of 6 (mini-ethnography, making instead of talking, doing mistakes, iteration, abduction, doing things together, etc.). Finally, regarding the fact that we need as much design practitioners than design managers, plus the fact that, in France, the design community and the clients have both to demonstrate a greater respect to basics design professions, we proposed to label the design university diplomas: Bachelor of design › problem solver, Masters of design › problem maker (or Value Shifter), PhD in design › problem searcher. (It was a lot of fun.)

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End of workshops, participants' presentations (Here Dominique Sciamma)
End of workshops, participants’ presentations (Here Dominique Sciamma)

Talk Presentations

Among others, François Jégou gave a talk, showing inspiring examples of the resilient city / sustainable food – a lot of good news and exemplary social initiatives. Laura Lecurieux-Belfort presented the topic of her researches on micro-algue to introduce the workshops. A talk on animism, were given by EnsadLab Sociable Media’s director Remy Bourganel. Alain Cadix presented more about the “mission on design” that the minister gave him – how design could spread in french companies, how the research community can be involved, how could science and creation can be promoted. Alain Findeli gave a rich point of view on the process of conception that we naturally demonstrated in the various workshops – how the table and chairs placement, the dominant use of the voice and the use of drawings change the way we organize our thoughts. He also stressed his argument that working through a project is the best way to observe the project.

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More info :

 

Nimes university
Nimes university

All pictures by cc Max Mollon