Grappling with Diversity in Research Through Design

Boudewijn Boon, S.E. Baha, A. Singh, F.E. Wegener, M.C. Rozendaal, P.J. Stappers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Since its introduction, Research through Design (RtD) has taken on a wide variety of forms. Currently, there is a lack of clarity about what connects and separates different RtD approaches. Several attempts have been made to clarify these matters, often in the form of a top-down categorization. Here we start on a different path, one that is open for different points of view and grounded in the ongoing concerns and needs of RtD practitioners. Over a two-month period, we engaged a local research community in weekly discussions about RtD in their work. Thoughts and questions were posted on a dedicated wall-space, maintained, and clustered over the weeks. As a result, we identified 11 themes that indicate concerns among participants about RtD. We suggest the themes can help in articulating different RtD ‘styles’ and ‘genres’, and believe this should be a collaborative and bottom-up effort that crosses disciplinary and institutional boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSynergy - DRS International Conference 2020
Subtitle of host publicationDRS2020 Research Papers
EditorsS. Boess, M. Cheung, R. Cain
PublisherDesign Research Society
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventDRS 2020 International Conference, Held online: Synergy - Online, Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 11 Aug 202014 Aug 2020


ConferenceDRS 2020 International Conference, Held online
Abbreviated titleDRS2020
Internet address


  • Research through Design
  • Practice-Based Research
  • Constructive Design Research
  • Design-Led Research


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