Designerly research and researcherly design skills, mindsets, and methods for revolutionary practices


  • Ricardo Sosa



Research methods, Queer uses, Non-Traditional Research Outputs, Design methods


This paper builds on the complementary identities of a 'researcherly designer' as a person who informs their design practice with research and a 'designerly researcher' as a person who informs their design practice with research and a 'designerly researcher' as a person who informs their research practice with design. Here, I extend and examine this reductive duality paying close attention to the skills, mindsets, methods, and practices in design and research. I argue that when the skills, tools, techniques, and methods normally used in design activity are used in research activity, clear distinctions need to be articulated on the purposes and contexts of their use. Individuals who are in the position to execute roles as different as design and research can be considered to be 'ambidextrous' or "revolutionary' as they have the potential to cultivate disruptive synergies between these worlds. The paper addresses the rich diversity, the opportunities and risks, and the ethical tensions that come from 'changing hats' between design and research established practices, and the 'queer' uses of methods in such interstices. I draw from earlier work on the creative adaptation of design methods for cross-disciplinary research (Sosa & Grocott, 2020). The paper concludes with generative questions for those who embark onto the emerging revolutionary practices between design and research.


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Author Biography

Ricardo Sosa

Is Associate Professor at Auckland University of Technology and Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He teaches and conducts research in design with an emphasis on creative and critical technologies. His early work introduced the use of computational social simulations to study the societal dimensions of design creativity and innovation. He now collaborates with specialists from across areas and with local communities to enact ethical social impact through innovative and responsible approaches to technology. He strives to uphold the obligations in the Treaty of Waitangi in Aotearoa New Zealand.


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How to Cite

Sosa, R. (2021). Designerly research and researcherly design skills, mindsets, and methods for revolutionary practices. DAT Journal, 6(2), 386–402.