Design research by Peter Downton
Design research considers the relationship of research to design and considers them both as ways of inquiring about the world and as ways of contributing to individual knowing and disciplinary knowledge. The central proposition is that design is a way of inquiring, a way of producing knowing and knowledge; this means it is a way of researching. Aspects of 'research for design' and 'research about design' are considered to distil ideas and reflect upon them as a basis for the core arguments about 'researching through designing'.
Parallels and differences between design and sciences (the fields that have colonised the idea of research as a way of producing knowledge) are used to establish and evaluate the argument that designers are engaged in researching when they are designing. The argument put is that designing leads to individual knowings that can be shared and thus become collective knowledge. This knowledge can be stored in, and transmitted by, exemplars from which designers learn in ways parallel to other disciplines. The similarities are sufficient, it is argued, to consider designing as a means for inquiring about, and producing knowledge of, the world. Design research thus parallels other research endeavours.
We have many textbooks covering topics of design, engineering, qualitative research and social sciences. Some of our other books you may enjoy including: