Disciplinarity and Rigour? My keynote from Design Research Society conference
By Steve Portigal at 10:29 am, Sunday July 27 2008

I was recently in the UK to give the opening keynote at the Design Research Society’s Undisciplined conference. I detail some of my academic and professional history and talk about the concerns of a practitioner, perhaps an alternate take on what many in the audience (designers from academic settings) are thinking about themselves.

Here are slides and audio in separate widgets. You can start the audio and advance the slides manually to follow along. The talk goes for about 45 minutes and the discussion for another 25 or so.

< Audio

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Also, see my London and Sheffield pictures here.

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7 Responses to “Disciplinarity and Rigour? My keynote from Design Research Society conference”

    Two comments about the deck: is that Rance Mulliniks (sp), and you were rockin’ the serious mullet for way too long.

    Other than that, great stuff!

    Comment by Colin McKay 07.28.08 @ 12:36 pm

    It’s Alan Ashby, actually.

    Yes, the presentation could have been subtitled – a journey thru hair

    Comment by Steve Portigal 07.28.08 @ 6:44 pm


    It’s funny how sometimes the Internet really acts as a barrier. I’ve known your persona based on the mailing list where we met, but seeing this post and the subsequent presentation, this really helps in getting to know you more.

    I personally found your experiences/life story very interesting, and your insights and opinions on certain things are quite similar to mine…especially your note that people’s job descriptions/titles are based on their academic background.

    Have you ever given thought to putting up a satellite office in Asia?

    Anyhow, thanks for the very, very informative post.

    Comment by Clarence Yu 07.30.08 @ 1:15 am

    Thanks for sharing this presentation.

    I like to believe that theory equals thinking, but I could be wrong. Actually, a wise man once said that theory is what is going on behind the curtains, off-stage, like the man controlling the levers in the Wizard of Oz.


    Comment by greg 08.01.08 @ 7:40 pm

    Greg – those are two interesting definitions of theory. And both very accessible, thanks!

    Comment by Steve Portigal 08.06.08 @ 2:02 pm

    Clarence – thanks for the kind words. I’d love to open a satellite office in Asia, but I don’t think we have the demand for work to justify an office (although I guess it could be a chicken-and-egg thing); or certainly not the local relationships in place to actually build up an office. I’d love to do that someday, though.

    Comment by Steve Portigal 08.06.08 @ 2:04 pm

    […] keynote from the Design Research Society conference, and my talk Research and Design: Ships in the Night? […]

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