DMI Lecture, "Graphic Design and Research: Love at First Sight or an Arranged Marriage?", Thursday, November 15

DMI welcomes designer, researcher, and educator Karel van der Waarde to MassArt on Thursday, November 15 for his lecture Graphic Design and Research: Love at First Sight or an Arranged Marriage?.

van der Waarde shares insights on the role and value of research from his wide-ranging study of graphic design practices among over 150 professional designers and a variety of design students and educators in the Netherlands.

Drawing on his experience as a design researcher, van der Waarde identifies three key types of research: practical, practice-based, and academic. Practical research is research related to a single project. Its aim is to support decisions that are related to one specific design.

There is practice based research: that is research related to a class of projects. Its aim is to find patterns and determine the value of these patterns. And there is academic research. This aim of this type of research is to produce new knowledge.

Why do we need to bother with research? Is it worth the effort, or should we just ignore it and hope it goes away? I think that it comes down to a very fundamental issue. How strong can you make your arguments for change? If you want to convince someone that your view is worth listening to, you need arguments. These different arguments can be provided by the results of practice based research.

Best practice and common verified knowledge can be used to support your views. Arguments are a lot more convincing if you can show that a design has worked well in other situations, and that it has been verified.

Karel van der Waarde studied graphic design at the Academy for Industrial Design in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) in 1986 and obtained his Masters degree in Information Design at Leicester Polytechnic (UK). He received his doctorate from the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading (UK) in 1994 for his thesis titled: An investigation into the suitability of the graphic presentation of patient package inserts.

In 1995, he started a design/research consultancy in Belgium specializing in developing and testing visual information. The company develops package leaflets, instructions, forms, protocols, and the information architecture for websites. The main focus is on information about medicines for patients, prescribing doctors and pharmacists on paper and screen and to supply 'people with information that enables them to act appropriately'. This requires observational studies, prototyping and testing as well as lobbying and publishing evidence based information.

Karel van der Waarde frequently publishes and lectures about visual information. He is moderator of the InfoDesign and InfoDesign-Café discussion lists. The Avans Hogeschool (Breda, The Netherlands) has appointed him as a scholar in Visual Rhetoric in 2006. It is a research post to investigate the development and use of visual communication with a longer term aim to support the relations between practice, research and education.

van der Waarde is a life-Fellow of the Communications Research Institute (Australia), a board member of International Institute for Informational Design (IIID, Austria) and editorial board member of the Information Design Journal and Visible Language. He writes, edits and reviews articles, and contributes regularly to conferences and publications.

Dynamic Media Institute, MassArt

November 15, 2012 @ 6:00 p.m.

MassArt Tower Building, Trustees Room, 11th floor

Free and open to the public.

Parking and Driving Directions:
Directions: By car | By T | Campus map (PDF)

Parking: Because of ongoing building projects, there is no public parking available on campus. Paid parking is available at the Museum of Fine Arts parking garage. Google Map of the area

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