Austin has an informal way of writing and describing things that we already do. The design process is a cumulative process, one that percolates in the recesses of your brain. Design research is not necessarily a structured process, it is a way of looking at the world, both natural and man-made.
Easy to talk about, but in order to make something great from stew that is simmering your brain, you do have to taste test, spoon it out, add some more spice and serve it up.
Working across many years of education and media development, I am forever amazed at the importance of perspective.
Look at the sky, the clouds and the moon. They can appear to be a solid color, solid shape and a bright disc in the pale blue morning sky. That snapshot is really flat. You never see the two hundred thousand miles of blackness between us and the moon. A plane up against the clouds will look like a speck of dust. You have to watch carefully to see the clouds in motion. The sky changes color as if it were a hemisphere screen, from morning to night and back again.
Seeing things as they are requires some perspective. A different angle, a higher vantage point, a more enlightened approach or a researched understanding. This is a worthy goal for life. You will never know it all, but you can start to understand the relationships between the things you do know. This is perspective.
Like many things in life, there are projects that are works in progress. The things, projects, problems or personal that are being built as you go, fixed while in flight. That is mantra of our time. You don’t wait to finish, because it won’t ever really be done. And if you are close to finishing, then it needs to be reborn.
This is not something that educational systems are handle very well. The idea of do and re-do, first-second-third drafts or continual improvement is hard to work into the grading and assessment practices of secondary education. There is a need for a grade, a snapshot of progress. I get it, but there should be a way to expand the product to the next level, using the first round of assessment as the spring-board.
If you have ever had the joy of working on a sailboat, you know how this process works.