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Retrospective aspects of design research necessarily include historiographic concenrs, methods and accounts. These matter when we are often engaged in the investigation of rapidly appearing technologies and their application in experimental constructions.

Reflection is also needed on prior design processes and outcomes, epecially where these enact known methodological approaches in both design and research. Equally important is the need to reconsider the methods taken up in speculative and experimental approaches and methods in project and production based inquiry where collaboration often features. For innovation in design and for reasoned, critical interpretation and explication, both reflection in and on action are needed. This demands some hindsight along with acknowledgement of contextual and cultural aspects of a time, place and situation. Retrospective views  allow us to contrast the concerns of today with those of prior research and against earlier periods of intense development and innovation.