Setting up research projects that gather scientific laboratories and the school Design labs
As part of the “Research-Training-Innovation Creative Industries of West France" regional program overseen by l’Université de Nantes and jointly run by L’École de design Nantes Atlantique, several research projects have been set up involving scientific laboratories and the Design Labs. A poster-based meeting with project leaders was organized on 20 October 2017 at l’Université de Nantes:
• ADLUX project with Granem, Université d’Angers and the Sustainable cities Design Lab on the study of the effects of light stimuli on consumer behavior, with a focus on energy saving issues;
• VISAMURB project with LS2N, Université de Nantes and the Sustainable Cities Design Lab on the visualization of 3D urban data for urban redevelopment;
• AMBIDYS project with LS2N and READi Design Lab, on the detection/visualization of textual ambiguities related to dyslexia in digital reading (also in partnership with Mobidys);
• IDEA project with LS2N and READi Design Lab on data mining in immersive environments using virtual reality headsets (with ExplorNova Studio). A thesis jointly supervized by Yannick Prié and Grégoire Cliquet was launched in September;
• Co-Design project with AAU, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Nantes and the Care Design Lab about co-design systems for improving housing design for the elderly. A thesis jointly supervized by Daniel Siret and Gaël Guilloux was begun in November 2016 with Markéta Fingerova.
Five ambitious projects and two theses since 2016
With five ambitious projects and two theses since 2016, L’École has achieved an important milestone in developing its design research. Associating the various projects with academic disciplines provides us with institutional recognition, but it also forces us to call into question the methodologies specific to design research, that is to say in the context of a discipline which involves a wide variety of skills and know-how. Many academic disciplines have chosen to focus on design, as illustrated by the Sciences du Design journal supported by L’École, which incorporates this interdisciplinary research. In what way can design research, using concrete experiences from design projects, adopt specific research protocols, articulating design/reception of artefacts/services and a theoretical production of knowledge which subsequently serves to enrich practices? That is one of the main challenges facing design research in higher education: how to avoid being absorbed by an interdisciplinary approach which would reduce design to a mere tool of experimentation or mediation, and use it instead to provide creative solutions for new forms of research. Scholarly seminars organized by the RFI serve to develop these interdisciplinary questions.
The meeting on 20 October 2017 was an opportunity to cross-reference methods and tools from different research laboratories on the analysis of subjectivity of experience. Two other topics were the subject of earlier seminars in September and October 2017 on virtual reality and co-creation. Design as a process of creation and curricular innovation was also at the heart of the day: the pedagogical component of RFI, chaired for the school by Laurent Neyssensas was the opportunity for a two-voice conference and an introductory workshop to the design process, run by Christelle Lison (professor at the Faculty of education, Université de Sherbrooke, specialized in teaching in higher education) and Laurent Neyssensas. The future teaching module linking the school, l’École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Nantes, and training programs offered by the universities of Nantes and Angers was also presented on this occasion. It consists of a think tank composed of students, teaching staff, designers and educational consultants to redesign lesson sequences.
Jocelyne Le Bœuf
Director of Research and Design Labs Development