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Divide, Switch, Blend


As practice researchers, how can we use our diverse skills and knowledge to change industry practices?

Cathryn Hall in front of a projector screen which shows a man wearing a pile of hats.

Cathryn Anneka presented the co-authored paper, with Professor Becky Earley, ‘Divide, Switch, Blend’ at the 13th International Conference of the European Academy of Design (EAD) in April, 2019. This paper explores different approaches taken when ‘wearing two hats’; that of academic researcher and the industry entrepreneur. It considers the barriers and opportunities in combining these two roles in order to acquire new knowledge. In particular, how fluidity of both ‘hats’ play an important role. The paper identifies three approaches – Divide, Switch and Blend - for researching with any two hats on. Divide entails wearing both hats separately on different occasions; Switch is wearing both hats but interchanging between the two on a single occasion; Blend is wearing both hats simultaneously.