#12 QofR: Lecture Notes ‘Research Methods’ – Mike Harkins

Reflection – Mike

  • Reflection in action – Feelings at the time
  • Reflection on action – Works of sifting over a previous event
  • Active learning required both!
  • Reflection: Before, During, After – happens around the event
  • Declarative Knowledge: Declaring what’s there
  • Things become so skillfully learned that it becomes more declarative and requires little or no reflection.
  • Skateboarder – Practice based work – shared in common with lots of professions.

Question of Research and Major Project – an honest attempt at answering questions, try not to leave holes.

A + B = C Adductive Logic: no clue that C exists, automatically jumped ahead to something that isn’t there.

A + B = A + B Deductive Logic: logical, mathematical, tautological.

A + B = AB Inductive Logic: Conflate two things together that is made of elements you already have.

Can you see which way you’re thinking?

Which way do you need to think?

Learn from experiential practice and reflect, don’t repeat exactly the same thing every time.

You need to be able to explain things to yourself in order to explain them to other people. Reflective practice – some areas are easy, some are more difficult.

Tacit Knowledge: Michael Polanyi

‘ We can know more than we can tell.’

The distinction between explicit and hidden knowledge.

  • Distal Knowledge: Clearly communicated
  • Proximal Knowledge: Cannot be formalised – Tacit

Have a go – articulate what your practice is.

Endell Tulving: Episodic and Semantic memory

Episodic: Things happening in the real world, received and stored events and experiences, rules, formulas, algorithms, organized knowledge. How you do things, autobiographical, reference.

Semantic: Abstract, language, thesaurus.


FIND STUFF – DO STUFF – Is it convincing

Iterative process – Research

  • Entry
  • Info – input data/ from question
  • Analysis – make sense of it
  • Creative practice/ synthesis (theory) a way or making sense/ writing/ writing is like a piece of art in itself.
  • Testing
  • Evaluation – feedback/ does it work, can it be better reflection
  • All being well – exit


  • Needs more work – enter – back to beginning

Research, practice, writing needs to happen simultaneously

Synthesizing knowledge, research and practice

As designers we create containers for the content.

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