Design Interventions - Reflections and Perspectives for Urban Design Research

Cecilie Breinholm Christensen, Elias Melvin Christiansen, Andrea Victoria Hernandez Bueno


The aim of this article is to contribute to the ongoing academic discussion of research-by-design as an approach to produce valuable, designbased research knowledge, specifically focusing on the use of design interventions in urban spaces. This is done with a point of departure in the authors individual experiences with the use of design interventions in their respective PhD projects. First, the article frames state-of-the-art literature on research-by-design approaches and design interventions. A model is presented as a synthesis of the state-of-the-art literature together with the authors reflections on and experiences with the use of design interventions in a research-by-design process. The model highlights the aspects of respectively engaging as a designer and distancing as a researcher in different parts of the process. Presenting the use of design interventions in the three different PhD projects sets the background for shared reflections and a critical discussion of potentials and challenges for urban design research. Here, we want to emphasise the potentials of design interventions in enhancing and gaining insights
into embodied human experiences in urban spaces. This article, then, advocates for and aims to enable and inspire other design researchers to further explore the values of doing research-by-design through the use of design interventions.

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