Enhancing Design Research in the Context of Design Education

[+] Author and Article Information
Vassilis Agouridas

School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UKv.agouridas@leeds.ac.uk

Note that for the purposes of the reported research, other methodologies such as protocol analysis, grounded theory, and ethnography have been treated as research methods as discussed in Sec. 4.

Kurt Lewin (15) invented the idea of action research in 1940s and published the first paper on it in 1946.

For example through the development of case study protocols (22).

Note that traceability of the origin of the research themes has been recognized (6-7,32) as an initial requirement for ensuring credibility of research results obtained through the methodology of action research.

An example is also found in Sec. 53. For other examples of the basis-for-action and course-of-action of the intellectual framework of this research, see Sec. 52.

3-PM was the working title of the systematic approach developed during that research and it was used during the early stages of it.

Note that each cycle may include the documentation of a number of studies, each one documented according to the principles of case study research (e.g., see Ref. 22).

The description given here is only a brief one; in practice, description of a real-world problem situation needs to be detailed and precise.

EXPRESS-G is the graphical notation of the EXPRESS data specification language (ISO10303-11).

IDEFØ is a method designed to model the decisions, actions, and activities of an organization or system (NIST released IDEFØ as a standard for Function Modelling in FIPS Publication 183).

J. Mech. Des 129(7), 717-729 (Feb 25, 2007) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2722792 History: Received December 20, 2006; Revised February 25, 2007

Research into design theory and methodology is central to postgraduate design education. It has been widely acknowledged in the literature that a key activity in ensuring the quality of research in the area of design theory and methodology is to put particular emphasis on addressing both technical and social aspects that underpin the socio-technical nature of design research. In addition, this is requisite in linking design theory to design practice. However, explicit research methodologies that take into consideration both of these aspects, as well as explicitly address the issue of linking design theory to design practice, are scarce. The overall aim of this paper is to increase the awareness of stakeholders involved in design research education (e.g., master and doctoral students, faculty, and education planners), of the need to safeguard and assure the credibility and validity of design research outputs. The paper reviews issues and challenges associated with the use of research methodologies in the context of design theory and methodology research. It reports findings from the development, application, and evaluation of a research methodology based on hypothesis testing, action research, and case study research methodologies. Application and evaluation of the methodology showed that the introduced concepts of basis-of-action and course-of-action proved key elements in establishing intellectual frameworks for design research. Conclusions are drawn on the effectiveness of the methodology to address issues and challenges associated with the nature of design research, and on pedagogical benefits that can be gained from its application in postgraduate design research education.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Abstract depiction of the developed research methodology process cycle

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Detailed depiction of the research methodology process cycle

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Depiction of the evolution of the research constructs through a research spiral

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

Depiction of reasoning modes, supported by the developed research methodology, leading to contribution to the state of practice and to the body of knowledge




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