The Faculty of Design and Art makes use of project and theory based types of research that can be separated into the sectors Research by Design and Research about Design (cf. among others Beat SCHNEIDER. Design - eine Einführung. Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2005).
Research by design takes account of the fact that design creation intends to obtain innovative results and therefore always includes a research activity (cf. Christopher Frayling. Research in Art and Design. In: Research Papers Royal College of Art, Vol. 1, Number 1, London 1993/94, page. 5).
Research by design is a design or development discipline and is also described as action research based on active design work. In Bozen it is the processing of concrete product innovations in the sectors product design, visual communication, service design as well as interior & exhibit design. On the one hand this takes place directly within the project study (cf. e.g., the results summarised under the heading Lightworks for projects of product design and visual communication). On the other hand there are also a number of projects completed by teachers and researchers of the faculty – s.project index – .
Research about design deals with the scientific investigation of the discipline design in the basics of its professional development and its interactions with economic, social and cultural realities. In this connection it is especially concerned with reflection, analysis and future prospects
for the status quo of practice, methodology and objectives of design creation
for the economic, social, cultural and technological basic conditions in which design creation is involved according to location and its own sense of position
for the effective pre-conditions and sequences of design action
for appraisal of relevant approaches to thought and work regarding the challenges of the future
Depending on the topic and approach to work research about design makes use of the help of empirically levied, statistically verified as well as historically examined and interpreted data and facts. If required it expresses itself also via the already mentioned speculative approach to research that is based on specialised scientific research, analysis, interpretation and argumentation.