Reframing the Paradox: Evidence-based Design and Design for the Public Sector














Design as analysis: examining the use of precedents in parliamentary debate

Darren Umney, chris earl, PETER LLOYD

The Open University (2), University of Brighton

Keywords: political debate; design process; design precedents; design analysis; design data


Design continues to look beyond the confines of the studio as both practitioners and researchers engage with wider social and political contexts. This paper takes design into the Parliamentary debating chamber where a country raises and debates problems and proposes and explores solutions. There is an increasing amount of work that explores the use of design in policy-making processes but little that explores design as an interpretation of the Parliamentary process. This paper draws on one characteristic of the design process, the use of precedent, and examines how this appears and functions in Parliamentary debate. The paper argues that this ‘design analysis’ gives insight into debate as a design process and into the debate transcript as a naturally occurring source of design data. This contributes to the scope of design studies and suggests that the UK Parliament could be considered one of the most influential design studios in a country.

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Umney, D., Earl, C. & Lloyd, P. (2016). Design as analysis: examining the use of precedents in parliamentary debate. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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