exploreID: What is Design Research?

Design research is core to the ID experience. Meet ID at design research consultancy Conifer Research for a conversation with practitioners, ID faculty, and ID students to discover more about design research, its significance in organizations today, and how it’s taught and practiced. Ben Jacobson, founder of Conifer and ID adjunct faculty member, will lead us through the design research process and address questions about the field. Sara Johnson, ID graduate and adjunct faculty member will also join the conversation.

About Sara

Sara [Jo] Johnson started her career in journalism, moved to visual communication and now contentedly resides in design research, strategy and innovation. She has masters in both Graphic Design and Design Strategy. She co-developed a non-profit, Emergent Structures, a model for reusing construction materials in large-scale and community projects—which brought her endless joy. She taught at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Design Management—while womanning the research curriculum and program. Upon her mom’s death, she tackled a long-term research project on reimagining the death experience for loved ones, including a study—I Remember You Now, I Remember You How—that led some conference audiences to tears. She has recently been leading and shaping innovation incubators and labs, presently with Blue Cross Blue Shield. She also teaches at her alma mater, Institute of Design, to hopefully stretch minds and mindsets. 

About the exploreID series
IIT Institute of Design (ID) gives students the freedom to explore a wide breadth of design disciplines by offering flexible master’s programs. This spring, a series of events—many of them in our new home—will touch on the vast array of pathways students pursue during and after ID, including design research, digital experience, organizing for innovation, and product management. Attend to learn more about the diversity of courses we offer and what design means at ID.