Design Research Book

Design Research by Tom Downton

Rigours researching and thinking, valuable to investigate, clearly defined, held to be sensible- this is the way science approaches research.

“The kinds of thinking, the areas dealt with, the means and methods of inquiry, the ways in which outcomes can be evaluated are different in design, but the requirement for clarity and rigorous reflection on process and intent is not thereby removed.” p5

Research must avoid naivety, “need to display characteristics of self awareness involved reflecting upon their undertaking, evaluating its research plan, its conduct, and its outcomes at appropriate points.” p7

Reflective evaluations are a must for designers, Introspective self-criticism or self-congratulation. “Their work as involving personal transformation. This is the journey variation where researches evolving path through research and life is central to their conception of research.” Design and research their learning is ongoing and their knowing is embodied in their doing.

 Method and Methodology – a way of doing things. “In this text, method is used in the sense of a way of doing things that has been reflected upon, considered and evaluated and is thus considered to be repeatable and likely to produce the same outcome if followed by another user.” – Science research though in design the process itself can be repeatable but the outcome is expected to vary and not be prescribed. Methodology is meta-method the study of methods.
 How can certain materials behave, specifications of the product.
 Creating my store of materials knowledge and processes
 Where to seek knowledge who to ask and the right questions
 Effects of choices
 Research at the beginning of a project is generally self education and enquiry for new concepts, towards the middle and end it enables decisions to be made, possible alternatives, compared dissimilar datas
 Research is undertaken to test existing knowledge, produce an increased knowledge
 Knowledge can not claim to be false unlike beliefs
 Design is a social enterprise
 Designers are constantly researching
 Without reflection words are just words.


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