Replication protocol analysis: a method for the study of real-world design thinking

Per Galle, L. B. Kovacs

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Given the brief of an architectural competition on site planning, and the design awarded the first prize, the first author (trained as an architect but not a participant in the competition) produced a line of reasoning that might have led from brief to design. In the paper, such ‘design replication’ is refined into a method called ‘replication protocol analysis’ (RPA), and discussed from a methodological perspective of design research. It is argued that for the study of real-world design thinking this method offers distinct advantages over traditional ‘design protocol analysis’, which seeks to capture the designer’s authentic line of reasoning. To illustrate how RPA can be used, the site planning case is briefly presented, and part of the replicated line of reasoning analysed. One result of the analysis is a glimpse of a ‘logic of design’; another is an insight which sheds new light on Darke’s classical study of ‘primary generators’.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalDesign Studies
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)181-200
    Publication statusPublished - 1996

    Cite this