A Theory for Enquiry in Design PhD Research -160


Thomas Fischer

Design PhD research often faces conflicting criteria. One common conflict is between doing justice to designing (from, systemically speaking, an inside perspective) and doing justice to academic research (subject, systemically speaking, to scrutiny by outside criteria). This presentation will develop a theory of (and for) enquiry from several independently developed cybernetic models and categorizations of design research, showing how “comfortable marriages” of design and academic research may be achieved by concatenating and nesting multiple kinds of enquiry within the same body of work. This theory aims to describe such concatenations and nestings and inform postgraduate and PhD-level design research and supervision, especially where they face scrutiny by scientific standards. The purpose of the described theory is neither to describe existing design research nor to instruct future design research in the way “methods” are expected to. Instead, the theory’s purpose (and, hopefully, the value) lies in its use by design researchers involved in PhD studies to clarify their research objectives, scopes, methods, methods, purposes, and construction of overall reporting narratives.

Keywords: Epistemology, Cybernetics, Design PhD research, Science, Design

Pre-proceedings drafts are available for RSD11 participants to review. The corresponding paper number is at the end of the title. The papers have been peer-reviewed, and the authors have made revisions. Following RSD11, authors will have a final period to revise their work from the feedback received at RSD before the proceedings are formally published.

Posted September 2022

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Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20XX). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSDX) Symposium. rsdsymposium.org/LINK.