Design Research has failed all the time over the past 50 years. And in making those failures, it has been successful.
Failure is a key part of the exploratory nature of Design Research. Experimenting, testing and piloting ideas in the field, rapid prototyping with real people, is what makes Design Research so vibrant and effective. As David Kelley, co-founder of IDEO, once put it: “Fail fast to succeed sooner”. Without failing, we do not know what works and what doesn’t; we do not know what is culturally acceptable and what is not.
Far from wringing our hands about the failures of Design Research, we should be celebrating the insights that each failure brings.
Long may we continue to fail.
Jeremy Myerson, invited respondent for DRS2016