Reflections on our series of published books

Our latest publication Catalysts: Thoughts on Design Research for Meaningful Change is part of a series of books. It is the fourth book about design research we published over the years. What do the four publications Pioneers, Viewfinders, Explorers, and Catalysts have in common? 

1) They are all filled with reflection, stories and insights derived from real-world cases and hands-on project experience.

2) They are meant to spark a conversation among our fellow design researchers around the globe, and at the same time engage those working outside of this field, to consider the benefits of embedding design research in a wider (global) innovation strategy.

3) It shows how design research developed over the years, and how pioneers around the world lead the way.

Our motivation for publishing books about design research has always been to share knowledge and experiences with others, but also to reflect on the work we and others have done. Creating a publication is a great reflective exercise! It is a way to look back: what did we do in the past years, what knowledge was created, and which project are we proud of and do we want to share? But also to look forward: what is the role of design and research in the now, near and ‘far’ future? We are very proud and excited to have four of our publications on the bookshelf, and there are many more to come! 

This is an overview of the series of books we published about design research: 

Viewfinders: Thoughts on Visual Design Research (2016)

Viewfinders explores the rich potential that photography, film and beyond hold for design research. Bas Raijmakers and Samantha Miller co-authored and edited a collection of writing that includes learnings from STBY projects, inspiration from fields such as documentary film, and relevant project examples ranging from speculative design to art photography.

Buy Viewfinders here.

Pioneers: Thoughts on Global Design Research (2017)

As the world becomes increasingly global and interconnected, more organisations must take the local and global into account when thinking about strategy and innovation. This sounds straightforward and sensible, but how do enterprises actually identify, conceptualise and design new products and services amidst the forces of globalisation? Pioneers: Thoughts on Global Design Research explores these questions through a collection of reflections on global design research co-funded by STBY and Innovate UK, and written in collaboration with partners across the globe. 

Buy Pioneers here.

Explorers: Thoughts on Mapping in Design Research (2020)

For designers and researchers visualising complexity is one of the key ways that we add value in highly collaborative settings, and it is something that sets us apart. The main question in Explorers is how we can add value through mapping? Explorers bring together learnings and conversations around this topic. With generous contributions from leading pioneers. 

Buy Explorers here.

Catalysts: Thoughts on Design Research for Meaningful Change (2022) 

Creatives, designers and researchers often find themselves in the role of ‘Catalysts’ in complex change processes. This might be in projects commissioned by clients or partners or in self-initiated projects. Many of us identify ourselves as activists and ambassadors for system change. The articles in this publication are particularly honing in on creative contributions to ‘Meaningful Change’. So not just on any change, as in change-for-change’s-sake, but on meaningful change that makes a real difference to the everyday lives of people, organisations and the planet as a whole. 

Buy Catalysts here.

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