© 2017 Candice-Leigh, Arden, Sean








Defining Practices is a cross-institutional initiative hosted by ArtCenter College of Design. The two-day authors' conference initiative was focused on addressing the emerging issues around design and research ethics including: design ethics in human subject engagement, IRB adoption and accountability, and institutional infrastructure for supporting emerging design research cultures in academic institutions. Initiated by the scholarship of Candice-Leigh Baumgardner, Sean Donahue and Arden Stern, the goal of this event was to launch a national conversation about the growing needs of art and design colleges in terms of human subject engagement, disciplinary ethics, institutional and academic infrastructures, and the research mechanisms needed to responsibly support and legitimize these engagements. The conference brings together leaders in design research and higher education to articulate the issues, identify gaps and opportunities, map best practices, and propose paths forward.

Candice-Leigh, Arden & Sean
the organizers
Download the Defining Practices Primer + Reader



The two-day event will focus on articulating pressing issues and establishing a platform from which to initiate
national discussion.











Shana Agid, PhD

Assistant Professor, Arts, Media and Communication, Parsons School of Design.


Candice-Leigh Baumgardner  

Associate Professor and Director of Social Sciences, Department of Humanities & Sciences, ArtCenter College of Design. Faculty, Graduate Transportation Systems & Design, ArtCenter College of Design.


Elizabeth Chin, PhD 

Professor, Graduate Media Design Practices, ArtCenter College of Design.


Sean Donahue 

Core Faculty, Graduate Media Design Practices, ArtCenter College of Design. Visiting Scholar, Helen Hamlyn Center for Design, Royal College of Art.


Carl DiSalvo, PhD 

Associate Professor, Digital Media Program, School of Literature, Media and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Laura Forlano, PhD

Assistant Professor of Design, Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology

Lisa Grocott, PhD 

Head of Department (Design), Monash University. Director of THRIVING, a Design and Learning Research Lab.


Gwynne Keathley 

Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, Maryland Institute College of the Arts (MICA).

Joanne Kersh, PhD

Assistant Director of Research Services, Association for Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD).


Joseph Kunkel

Executive Director, Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative. Visiting Eminent Scholar, Del School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment (SSEBE), Arizona State University.


Deborah Littlejohn, PhD

Assistant Professor of Design Research, North Carolina State University.


Pardis Mahdavi, PhD

Dean of Women, Director of the Pacific Basin Institute, and Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology, Pomona College.


Stacie Rohrbach

Associate Professor, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University. Area Head for the Communication Design Program.


Elizabeth Sanders, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Design, Ohio State University.


Arden Stern, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities & Sciences, ArtCenter College of Design. Faculty, Graduate Media Design Practices, ArtCenter College of Design.


Elizabeth Tunstall, PhD 

Dean, Faculty of Design, Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD).



Friedman, Batya et al. “Value Sensitive Design and Information Systems.” Human-Computer Interaction in Management Information Systems: Foundations, Routledge, 2006.

Gordon, Avery F. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination, University of Minnesota Press, 2008.


Guillemin, Marilys & Gillam, Lynn. “Ethics, Reflexivity, and “Ethically Important Moments” in Research.” Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2004. pp. 261 - 280.


Hamington, Maurice. “Care Ethics, John Dewey’s ‘Dramatic Rehearsal’ and ‘Moral Education Philosophy of Education.’ Philosophy of Education, 2010. pp. 121 - 128.


Hannington, Bruce. “Methods in the Making: A Perspective on the State of Human Research in Design.” Design Issues. Vol. 19, No. 4, 2003. pp. 9 - 18.


IDEO. The Little Book of Design Research Ethics, IDEO, 2015.


Jönsson, Bodil et. al. “Ethics in the Making.” Design Philosophy Papers, Vol. 3, Issue 4, 2005. pp. 213 - 226.


Leavy, Patricia. “Social Research and the Creative Arts: An Introduction.” Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice, Guilford Press, 2009.


McDonagh, Deana. “Design Students Foreseeing the Unforeseeable: Practice Based Empathic Research Methods.” International Journal of Education through Art, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2015. pp. 421 - 431.


The Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. “The Belmont Report.” Office for Human Research Protections, https://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/belmont-report/. Accessed 4 May 2016.

Sacasas, Michael. “Do Artifacts Have Ethics?” L.M. Sacasas: Technology, Culture, and Ethics, https://thefrailestthing.com/2014/11/29/do-artifacts-have-ethics/. Accessed 30 November 2014.

Sales, Bruce D. & Folkman, Susan. Ethics in Research with Human Participants, American Psychological Association, 2000.


Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples, Zed Books, 1994.


Stolterman, Erik. “The Nature of Design Practice and Implications for Interaction Design Research.” International Journal of Design, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2008. pp. 55 - 65.


Suchman, Lucy. “Located Accountabilities in Technology Production.” Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems, Vol. 14, Issue 2, Article 7, 2002. pp. 91 - 105.

Tunstall, Elizabeth. “Decolonizing Design Innovation: Design Anthropology and Indigenous Knowledge”. Design Anthropology: Theory and Practice, Berg Publishing, 2013.


U Lab Source Book, Presencing Institute, 2015.

Winner, Langdon. “Do Artifacts Have Politics?” The whale and the reactor: a search for limits in an age of high technology, University of Chicago Press, 1986.


Zimmerman, John et. al. “Research Through Design as a Method for Interaction Design Research in HCI.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2007, San Jose, CA. pp. 493 - 502.

Agid, Shana. “Worldmaking: Working through Theory/Practice in Design.” Design and Culture:

The Journal of the Design Studies Forum, Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2012. pp. 27 - 54.


Akama, Yoko and Light, Ann. “The Human Touch: From Method to Participatory Practice in

Facilitating Design with Communities.” Proceedings of the 12th Participatory Design Conference: Research Papers, Vol. 1, August 12 - 16, 2012, New York, NY. pp. 61 - 70.


A Quick-Start Guide to Conducting Community Engaged Research, Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute Office of Community Engagement, 2012.


Bilgrami, Akeel & Cole, Jonathan, editors. Who’s Afraid of Academic Freedom?, Columbia University Press, 2016.


Bonsiepe, Gui. “Design and Democracy.” Design Issues, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2006. pp. 27 - 34.


Brettell, Caroline B. “Introduction: Fieldwork, Text and Audience”. When They Read What We Write: The Politics of Ethnography, Praeger, 1996.


Buchanan, Richard. “Human Dignity and Human Rights: Thoughts on the Principles of Human-Centered Design.” Design Issues, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2001. pp. 35 - 39.


Christians, Clifford G. “Politics and Ethics in Qualitative Research.” Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage Publications, 2005.


Clark, Herman Pi’ikea Jr. E Kûkulu Kauhale O Limaloa: Kanaka Maoli Education through Visual Studies. Dissertation, Massey University College of Education, 2006.


“Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association.” American Anthropological Association, http://ethics.americananthro.org/category/statement/. Accessed 3 February 2017.


Community-Based Participatory Research: A Guide to Ethical Principles and Practice, Durham University Centre for Social Justice & Community Action and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, 2012.


 “Community Engaged Research.” Office for the Protection of Research Subjects,

http://oprs.usc.edu/about/initiatives/cm/. Accessed 3 February 2017.

Does My Research Need IRB Review?” The University of Chicago, https://sbsirb.uchicago.edu/page/does-my-research-need-irb-review-0. Accessed 3 February 2017.

Donahue, Sean. “Discipline Specific Ethics: An Exercise in Praxis.” Design Philosophy Papers, Vol. 2, Issue 2, 2004. pp. 95 - 101.


Fine, Michelle et. al. “Participatory Action Research: From Within and Beyond Prison Bars”. Qualitative Research in Psychology: Expanding Perspectives in Methodology and Design, American Psychological Association, 2003.

Frayling, Christopher. “Research in Art and Design.” Royal College of Art Research Papers, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1994. pp. 1 - 5.


“Frequently Asked Questions About Community-Engaged Research.” Office for the Protection of Research Subjects, http://oprs.usc.edu/files/2013/01/Frequently_Asked_Questions_about_Community-Engaged_Research.pdf. Accessed 3 February 2017.



Candice-Leigh Baumgardner



Arden Stern


Sean Donahue

Defining Practices has been made possible with the support of ArtCenter College of Design,

the Office of the Provost, the ArtCenter Library and the Shared Governance Research Committee.

Special thanks to Lauren Williams for her critical support in planning this event.