Against (Design) Research


  • Ferdinand Indrajaya Bina Nusantara University



disinterested, design, proposal, research, science


The content of this article is an attempt to show that the word research in traditional sense (within the Cartesian scheme) is hostile to design activity. It will reduce the process of design into a merely fix mechanical process, burying the aspect of imagination, creativity, and more importantly proposing in it that is a crucial aspect to design. This imposition might indiscipline (in a formal academic sense) design as a discipline in human sciences. In order to achieve this, the article is divided in three sections. The first section will discuss what scientific research is and what traditionally presupposed in it: objective, neutral, and a-historical; simply the disinterestedness of research. As for the second, epistemological concerns on traditional scientific research from two philosophers of science will be discussed: Thomas S. Kuhn and Paul K. Feyerabend. As for the third, the closing section, an attempt to delineate design and what designers do in comparison to scientists’ will be discussed. It is how design and designers are different in their manners with traditional science and scientist.

Author Biography

Ferdinand Indrajaya, Bina Nusantara University

Jurusan Desain Komunikasi Visual, School of Design


Feyerabend, P. (1993). Against method (3rd ed.). USA: Verso.

Godfrey-Smith, P. (2003). Theory and reality: An introduction to the philosophy of science. Chicago, USA: The University of Chicago Press.

Hardiman, F. B. (2007). Filsafat fragmentaris, deskripsi, kritik, dan dekonstruksi. Kanisius.

Krippendorff, K. (2007). Design research, an oxymoron? In R. Michel (Ed.), Design research now, essays and selected projects. Germany: Birkhäuser Verlag.

Krippendorff, K. (2006). The semantic turn: A new foundation for design. USA: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.

Kuhn, T. S. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions (2nd ed.). Chicago, USA: University of Chicago Press.






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