Introduction: Experiential Knowledge

Author: Nithikul Nimkulrat

peer-reviewer conference paper, 2016

Since the last decade, the Design Research Society (DRS) has begun to set up Special Interest Groups (SIGs) in response to the requests of its international membership, as a way of providing the DRS members with forums for their interests that they can engage and work actively together internationally. The Special Interest Groups organise events and discussion in a number of ways to facilitate the exchange and development of best practice in the field. The first Special Interest Group under the umbrella of the DRS is the Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG). EKSIG is concerned with the understanding and role of knowledge in research and professional design practice in order to clarify fundamental principles and practices of using design practice within research both with regard to research regulations and requirements, and research methodology.

EKSIG’s interest in knowledge in the creative industries has arisen from the modification of PhD degree regulations to include design practice as a significant part of the research process, first in the UK and later in other European countries and Australasia. The inclusion of design practice in research has led to debates about knowledge in research, i.e. about what we mean by a ‘contribution to knowledge’ and how new knowledge advances the creative fields. In the UK, Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014)’s overview report, art and design is considered ‘the largest sector for the production of research through practice, and as such is a leader in the elaboration of emergent approaches to knowledge’ (REF2014, p. 90). This confirms that design research is playing and will play an important role in the production of knowledge through research that has practice as the key component in the process of inquiry.

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Suggested Citation: Nimkulrat, N. (2016). Introduction: Experiential Knowledge. In P. Llyod & E. Bohemia. Proceedings of 2016 Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference (DRS2016) Vol. 8 (pp. 3177-3180). Brighton, UK: Brighton University. DOI: 10.21606/drs.2016.607.