The Future of Design Process Research? Exploring Process Theory and Methodology

Frithjof E. Wegener, Philip Cash

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Design processes are at the heart of design research. Current design research at the micro- and macro-level has led to profound insights about designing. However, missing are design process research approaches that are able to theorize between (meso-level) and beyond levels of analysis. This fragmentation of process research and theory across levels hampers research synthesis and theory development. In this paper we illustrate the limitations of current design research methodologies to analyse and theorize process. Specifically, the issue lies in the challenge of analysing and theorizing the temporal embeddedness of data in the overall design process. We introduce a Process Theory agenda for future design process research focused on the meso-levels as the mediator of interactions between design processes across levels. As such, this paper contributes a novel characterisation of a critical challenge in design research, proposing process theory for addressing this.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of DRS 2020 Synergy
EditorsStella Boess, Ming Cheung, Rebecca Cain
Volume5: Processes
PublisherDesign Research Society
Publication date2020
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912294-41-1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventDesign Research Society 2020 - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 11 Aug 202014 Aug 2020


ConferenceDesign Research Society 2020


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