For part three of our installment of interior design research tools, we’re highlighting the incredible ease of use of the Research Design Connections Archive (RDC), one of the many paid subscriptions that UT Libraries maintains on behalf of University of Texas students, faculty and staff. Containing over 1,800 archived articles and blog posts, RDC offers a wide array of search tools that you can utilize to craft even the most specific results possible.
Unique to this database is its attention to these combination options. A special emphasis is put on behavior and special populations, two factors that are seminal to the design experience, but are sometimes overlooked in favor of trends or stylistic features. A specific setting is also offered as an option to narrow your search, which presents monumental ease if you’re zooming into a specific category of design.
Perhaps my favorite trait about this database are the links under the search bar. Instead of simply stating the titles of articles as their headline, they pose the question they explored in order to facilitate a design conversation. I am continuously thinking in questions: what is the most suitable material for a bar countertop in a high-traffic restaurant? How much energy goes into maintaining a temperature-controlled art gallery? How much pattern is too much pattern? I truly appreciate RDC’s database organization, which grasps exactly how designers are thinking whilst performing research.
Though there are hundreds of electronic research tools available for designers, we hope that our assessment of three that we find especially helpful: IIDA Knowledge Center, InformeDesign, and Research Design Connections Archive – helps you in navigating the endless foray of knowledge that can sometimes complicate or hinder the research process.