Defining a methodology within the design process is always tricky! In simple terms, it’s the larger system into which you fit your methods… therefore the methodology determines the methods you use. As an analogy I find it helps to think of it as a larger machine that your work runs through – the output will look very different depending on the type of machine.

As we’ve discussed during the course, there seems to be a lack of trusted approaches, ultimately meaning we adopt methodologies for other areas such as social science or engineering etc. We’ve looked at the characteristics of several scientific models, as well as participatory and speculative approached, however, the one that I keep coming back to is ‘Research Through Design’. I think I favor this approach due to its ability to adapt and react to designed outputs through an iterative process.

As a fun group task, we were asked to create manifestos in response to four different approached. It’s really interesting to see that running a simple idea though each set of ideals gave vastly different outputs.

Pragmatic Perspectives
Focus on the identification and resolution of common everyday needs encountered by people in their day-to-day lives.
There is only one solution to a problem.
Observe – Record – Identify – Simplify – Define – Deconstruct.
Understands the parts that make the whole.
Create a hierarchy of needs.
Establish a system.
Design, prototype and build the solution.
Observe solutions in situation.
Analyse the results – measure the success.

Utopian Perspectives
Present an idealized vision of a possible future centered around some trend, artifact or service.
We, the utopians stand for the ideal. The best, the most harmonious, the shining future.
We do not stand for chaos, destruction, anarchy.
We, the utopians build the road towards an imaginary, but possible future.
We, the utopians work towards a democratic, selfless community.

Critical Perspectives
Call attention to the complications or possible dystopian outcomes of possible futures.
Must be aware of current problems to design solutions for the future.
Must be inquisitive – enquire and have a strong sense of purpose and ethics.
Must want to delve deeper into the meanings and workings of contemporary culture.
Must understand what has come before to understand what may come next.
Must be dissatisfied with the status quo and seek change.

Pataphysical Perspectives
Questions and challenges what is understood as real, imaginary and virtual through using the absurd in the context of science (pseudo scientific, “the science of imaginary solutions”).
The ‘pataphysicist challenges the fact that design can provide an end-all solution to a problem.
The ‘pataphysist questions whether there is a problem in the first place?
The ‘papayaphyisician immerses himself within his imagination.
The ‘polophysician employs scientific methods to tackle imaginary problems.
The ‘patataphysician employs imaginary methods to tackle scientific problems.
It doesn’t have to work.
It is a fact that real pataphysicians can speak of countless things without really saying nothing at all.

This task was great fun and gave me a few more approached to add to my toolkit! Moving forward with my project, I think I will focus on a combination of ‘Research For’ & ‘Research Through Design’ and try to adapt parts of Critical and Speculative approaches.