“Caution Roadblocks Ahead! Hosting a Design Driven Social Innovation Lab in a Research-Intensive University”
Sébastien Proulx & Susan Melsop
This paper presents the process of setting up a Design-driven Social Innovation Lab in the Design Department at The Ohio State University. The authors discuss the challenges and roadblocks of developing the Lab, and provide a strategic roadmap to surpass them. Because project grounded research still has an ill-defined place in the scientific research landscape, setting up a social innovation lab in a Tier 1, research-intensive university has challenges both seen and unseen. For instance, colleagues across the university may not be aware of how design can be a tool for social change. Additionally, peers evaluating tenure-track faculty may not recognize social design as scholarship but view it only as service and community outreach. In order to overcome these challenges, the authors present an action framework to structure the relationship between community engagement and project grounded research to advance scholarship in social design. This framework serves as a way to reconcile misconceptions around the scientific value of project-based research and close the gap in language between the grammar of project-based design and academic research in the Usonian context.
Cite this article
Proulx, S., & Melsop, S. (2018). Caution Roadblocks Ahead! Hosting a Design Driven Social Innovation Lab in a Research-Intensive University. In Proceedings of the 2018 Cumulus Conference, 250-265. Paris, France: CÉSAAP