Exploring How Industrial Designers Can Contribute to Scientific Research
Alex James Driver, Carlos Peralta, James Moultrie


This paper describes the initial findings of an empirical study exploring how industrial designers might be able to support scientists in their research activities. The paper compares and contrasts the findings of a literature review, a series of interviews with scientists and three case studies in which designers collaborated with scientific teams at a university. It reflects on the designers’ contribution to research and highlights potential barriers and enablers to collaboration. In addition to the expected contribution of designers to supporting commercialisation of technology, the research demonstrated the potential for industrial design to have an impact on research itself. When involved earlier in the scientific research process, designers can challenge the research direction and support scientists in demonstrating, communicating and exploring potential future applications.

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