On what grounds? An intra-disciplinary account of evaluation in research through design

Thomas Markussen, Peter Gall Krogh, Anne Louise Bang

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    Research through design is a murky field and there is an increasing interest in understanding its varied practices and methodology. In the research literature that is initially reviewed in this paper two positions are located as the most dominant representing opposite opinions concerning the nature of such a methodology. One position proposes a cross-disciplinary perspective where research through design is based on models and standards borrowed from natural science, social sciences, humanities and art, while the other position claims a unique epistemology for research through design insisting on its particularities and warning against importing standards from these other disciplines. In this paper we argue for taking a third position, an intra-disciplinary position that appreciate how design processes and the making of artifact can be a method of inquiry, while at the same time insisting on using standards and terminology that can foster a cross-disciplinary interplay with surrounding scientific cultures. To substantiate our claim we further introduce five practices of evaluation in research through design, which are derived from a close examination of a sample of PhD theses that are claimed to be exemplary of the field. In so doing, we aim to lay new grounds for a methodology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIASDR2015 Interplay : Proceedings
    EditorsVesna Popovic, Alethea Blackler, Ding-Bang Luh, Nithikul Nimkulrat, Ben Kraal, Yukari Nagai
    Publication date2015
    ISBN (Electronic)978-0-646-94318-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event6th International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference: Interplay - Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
    Duration: 2. Nov 20155. Nov 2015
    Conference number: 6th


    Conference6th International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference
    LocationQueensland University of Technology


    • Research through design
    • methodology
    • Evaluation
    • interaction design
    • theory of science


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