What is a ‘research question’ in design?

Authored by: Meredith Davis

The Routledge Companion to Design Research

Print publication date:  October  2014
Online publication date:  October  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415706070
eBook ISBN: 9781315758466
Adobe ISBN: 9781317636250


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In design, as in other fields, research begins with a question that reflects a desire to know something or something that arises from an observation that some situation is unresolved or could benefit from deeper understanding. The question may originate with the design researcher or come to the attention of the researcher through someone who presents a challenge. Framing the research question sets the stage for everything that follows in a research study or in a research-driven design process used to solve a practical problem. The selection of appropriate literature; theories that form the conceptual grounding for the study or the basis of design action; methods for investigation; people to be studied; criteria for interpreting research findings; and potential applications of research all depend on how the question is constructed.

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