A logical critique of the expert position in design research: beyond expert justification of design methods and towards empirical validation

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Abstract

This paper gives a general and logical analysis of the expert position in design research bywhich methods for innovative design can be derived from expert design practices. It firstgives a framework for characterising accounts of design by the way in which they defineand relate general, descriptive and prescribed types of design practices. Second, it analyseswith this framework the expert position's conservatism of prescribing existing expert designpractices to non-expert designers. Third, it argues that the expert status of expert designersdoes not provide suficient justification for prescribing expert design practices to non-expert designers; it is shown that this justification needs support by empirical testing.Fourth, it discusses validation of designmethods for presenting an approach to this testing.One consequence of the need to empirically test the expert position is that its prescriptionhas to be formulated in more detail. Another consequence is that it undermines the expertposition since expert design practices are not anymore certain sources for deriving designmethods with. Yet it also opens the expert position to other sources for developing designmethods for innovation, such as the practices of contemporary designers and the insightsof design researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
JournalDesign Science: An international journal
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • design research
  • expert design
  • design methods
  • validation

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