PhD Principles and Methods of Design Research

This course surveys a range of research methods from different scientific traditions including science, social science, engineering, and design.

Through a deep reading of monographs (dissertations that have been published as books) from the social sciences and design fields, the following approaches will be discussed: experimental vs. field research, inductive vs. deductive reasoning, positivist vs. grounded theory traditions, quantitative vs. qualitative research, comparative vs. longitudinal studies, descriptive vs. generative methods, and method-driven vs. question-driven research as well as the combination of these traditions into mixed methods approaches. For example, what counts as data? How is it collected and analyzed? What is the overall purpose of the research in these various traditions and how are contributions made and measured?

Learning Objectives
Students will become familiar with key methodological approaches from science, social science, engineering and design in order to provide a strong basis for their individual research. Emphasis is placed on surveying different methodological traditions in order to understand their strengths and weaknesses.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will become familiar with research methods from different scholarly traditions
  • Students will develop their own perspective on the methodological approach that they may pursue in their individual research
  • Students will gain exposure to previous doctoral research, including its strengths and weaknesses
Managing Interdisciplinary Teams Design Connoisseurship Engaging Stakeholders in Innovation Special Topics Faculty Research Design Process and Knowledge Making the User Centered Case
Modeling Complexity Theories of Communication Fundamentals of Visual Communication Advanced Diagramming Metaphor and Analogy in Design Diagram Development Communication Strategies Communication Design Workshop
Extensions of Media and Technology Interactive Space Interaction Design for Embedded Systems Interaction Design for Immersive Systems Prototyping Interactions Persuasive Interaction Design History of Interaction Design Interaction Design Methods Digital Development Workshop Interaction Design Workshop
Planning + Strategy
Designing Futures Adaptive Leadership Strategies for Open Innovation Organizational Models for Innovation Social and Economic Context of Design New Venture Design Innovation Methods Planning Implementation Business Models and Value Webs Business Frameworks and Strategy Design Planning Workshop Introduction to Portfolio Planning
Design Development & Implementation Product Architecture and Platforms Form and Materials New Product Definition Product Design Workshop
Systems and Systems Theory in Design Networked Objects Networked Cities Human System Integration Systems Modeling and Prototyping Platform-based Design Strategy Systems Approach to Design Information Structuring and Management Structured Planning Workshop Service Systems Workshop
User Research
Stimulus in Design Research Behavioral Economics Online Research Methods Principles and Methods of User Research Coding and Analysis Co-Design and Participatory Research Methods Survey Methods Cultural Probes Experience Modeling Interview Methods Research Photography Research Planning & Execution