Research Strategies in Design
University of Wisconsin–Stout
Research Strategies in Design is an MFA-level seminar course providing an overview of research practices in the major design disciplines. This class presents a variety of tools for collecting data and managing ambiguity at the front end of the design process, learning the process of gathering insights, and translating those insights into creative direction. Class covers standard design research methods: secondary research, human, end-user, and participatory-centered methods, ethnographic, qualitative, and quantitative methods, and trending and emerging methods, philosophies, and tools. Class projects feature a semester-long partnering entity, and focus on creative placemaking as a means to execute design research strategies.
Graduate students propose design solutions for local museum
UW–Stout News Bureau, June 22, 2020
Chippewa Valley Herald | Eau Claire Leader-Telegram
Design class looks into outdoor museum on blue-green algae awareness
UW–Stout News Bureau, June 13, 2018
WPR / Spectrum West interview
Wisconsin Public Radio, June 21, 2018
Wigdahl, Matthew. “Lake Menomin Project: Exploring an Outdoor Museum Piece Using Design Research Techniques,” proceedings from DECIPHER: 2018, AIGA Design Educators Research Conference, Stamps School of Art & Design, University of Michigan.
Decipher, vol. 2, pp. 106–107, December, 2019 [link] peer-reviewed
Evensen, Erik A. ”Design Research in a Polytechnic Setting: Leveraging polytechnic research initiatives as thematic content in a graduate design research class,”
Global Polytechnic Summit 2019: Shaping the Future of Polytechnic Education, University of Wisconsin–Stout, Menomonie, WI. June 3, 2019. peer-reviewed
Alesch, Jonathan. “Flow and Aura: Arts and Crafts philosophies made manifest in present-day, hands-on research,” proceedings from Global Polytechnic Summit 2022, Hochschule Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany, June, 2022. peer-reviewed
Honorable mention, Graduate Researcher of the Year, UW-Stout
SELECTED STUDENT OUTCOMES
Short film, "TILL" (2018)
Dharshana Gopalakrishnan, Drew Hagen, Shane Sanders, Jonathan Wheeler, Wu Liang
TILL was produced as a way to visualize research on the needs of regional farmers. Following the method of Design Documentary, as coined by design researcher Dr. Bas Raijmakers, the film provides a background on the algal problems affecting the Red Cedar River watershed through interviews and anecdotal information gathering. The posters below outline the research process.
RESEARCH TEAM: Dharshana Gopalakrishnan, Drew Hagen, Shane Sanders, Jonathan Wheeler, Wu Liang
Outdoor Museum Proposal
This project began in my graduate Research Strategies class, based on the results of data gathering and generative workshops conducted by Morgan Brantner, Amanda Harder, Terri Stan, and Matt Wigdahl. Wigdahl chose to keep developing the project beyond the class, through independent study coursework. The revised proposal was adapted as a conference poster at DECIPHER 2018, an AIGA Design Educators Research Conference. It was subsequently published in AIGA's Decipher, vol. 2.
Lake Menomin Project: Exploring an Outdoor Museum Piece Using Design Research Techniques
Wigdahl, Matthew. DECIPHER: 2018, AIGA Design Educators Research Conference.
Published in AIGA Decipher, vol. 2, pp. 106–107, December, 2019 [link] peer-reviewed
RESEARCH TEAM: Morgan Brantner, Amanda Harder, Terri Stan, Matt Wigdahl