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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano


Looking at design research, one can identify three different categories within it, each having it’s own ‘mind-set’ and logic. Whereby the factors ‘design’ and ‘research’ are playing different roles and relate differently to each other.


The first category is Research through Design, these are practice-based design research projects where research itself is the focus and aim, yet it is based on a tight discourse with design and diverse aspects of it. Design as such (tools, methods, methodology etc.) embodies the means taken. One could say that design in these projects is the counter partner for the research but it isn’t the sole aim of the project.

The second category is Design through Research, these are design projects where research is playing a key role, yet the focus and ultimate aim is the design itself and not the research as such. Here Research is the foundation and grounds for the design to grow out of.

The third category is Research about Design, this category refers to all theoretical fields surrounding and relating to design, yet not actively practicing it. From research project dealing with design history, semiotics, cultural anthropology, philosophy, psychology and many more humanistic fields touching and engaging themselves with the field of design.

Vice Dean for Research: Prof. Nitzan Cohen

Main Research Areas

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