last update: September 24, 2013                   [HOME]

DG000: [Design and] Research Processes [design intro]


Prof. Dr. M. Rauterberg
Department Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology
Actual time and location will be announced via email to all subscribed students.


This assignment need 8 hrs work in total, half day presentation and half day student work.

After following this introduction lecture you should be able:

  • to have a basic understanding of research in the context of the meta-competency B "Design and research processes".

Previous Knowledge

  • You have to be open-minded.


Competency area: "Design and Research Processes"
Goal: Master the design process and the research process and adjust these processes to the
demands of the task at hand.

An Industrial Designer should be able to run the design processes efficiently and effectively, to reflect on different kinds and different ways of designing and be able to choose an appropriate design strategy for their design challenges (with a strong emphasis on the focus of his department). Therefore you need to understand what kind of activity designing is, how it differs from other human activities, and which abilities you should develop to become a designer. A successful design is highly dependant on a thorough research process as a ‘knowledge builder’ and ‘information gatherer’ about the subject domain. Specific research and design processes are planned and organized according to the nature of the design subject and context; these can be quite different and need to be considered carefully according to the required project deliverables.

Intro schedule





first half day

Introduction in the basic ideas:
teaser [PPT], short [PPT], full lecture [PPT]
here is the [movie] and some extras [wiki]

WATCH: Sam WEISS (1975). Plato's Cave Parable. Churchill Film [flv 46MB] [mov 62MB] [wmv 49MB] (source)

additional presentations:
Masood Masoodian: Interaction design.
Brian Schrank: Principles of visual design.
Paul F: What is science?
Hopkins: What is research?
St Andrews: Causation and Logic [PPT]
Mämmelä: Research methods
UCC: Qualitative research [PPT]

Here is the new Starter-Kit:
1) Download Quality Memory Jogger.
2) Select a Tool and apply in your project.
3) Prepare a presentation for feedback.
4) Read more about the PDCA model.
5) Select the most fitting design process view.

How to do a literature search? Go here! Tips
CHECK THIS: The Usability-Net Resource Homepage


Additional books:
B. Buxton (2007) Sketching User Experiences.
B. Laurel (2003) Design Research.
B. Lawson, K. Dorst (2009) Design Expertise.
P. Markopoulos et al (2008) Evaluating Children's Interactive Products.
D. Mayhew (1999) The Usability Engineering Lifecycle.
K. Vredenburg et al (2002) User-Centered Design.
N. Walliman (2011) Your Research Project.

Literature is provided here:

ID Educational Guide

Pirsig (1974):
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values.

Pirsig (1991):
Lila: An Inquiry into Morals.

Dorst (2002):
Design and research processes.

Dorst & Rauterberg (2008): Competency levels.

Lawson & Dorst (2010):
Design Expertise.

Hummels & Frens (2008):
Designing for the unknown.

Peter Weingart (2002):
The moment of truth for science. EMBO reports, vol. 3, no. 8. pp. 703-706.

A. Karim Ahmed (2009):
Causality, Chaos, and Consciousness: Steps Toward a Normative Cosmological Principle in an Evolving.

D. Norman (2010):
Why design education must change.

G. Gigerenzer (1993):
Statistics and causaility

R. Mauro (1990): Understanding L.O.V.E. (Left Out Variables Error): A method for estimating the effects of omitted variables.

second half day

Assignment: Each student team goes out into the 'real' world to find something which can be viewed, interpreted and reused in a very different manner; the results are presented in a short power-point presentation.