Locating design phenomena: A methodological excursion

Matthews, Ben (2007) Locating design phenomena: A methodological excursion. Design Studies, 28 4: 369-385. doi:10.1016/j.destud.2006.12.002

Author Matthews, Ben
Title Locating design phenomena: A methodological excursion
Journal name Design Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0142-694X
Publication date 2007-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.destud.2006.12.002
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 28
Issue 4
Start page 369
End page 385
Total pages 17
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Abstract An analysis is presented of a design meeting in which users and other stakeholders enter the design dialogue as ‘others’ who are talked about and spoken for in absentia, with particular attention paid to the circumstances in which these others are invoked. This lays an empirical foundation from which to premise a methodological discussion about researchers' practices of identifying design phenomena to analyse. In many analytical treatments, the circumstances in and through which phenomena (e.g. designers' actions) emerge tend to be stripped from those phenomena when they are treated as objects of analytical interest. This hides the actual work that designers are doing, work that is only recoverable through consideration of the circumstances in which design moves are made in interaction. Such analytic practices can be prone to generate an alien or ironic understanding of designers' work. This does not condemn such analytic approaches, but the point remains that there is much of importance that ‘falls through the cracks’ in such analytical treatments, particularly since a pivotal objective of many forms of design research is to account for design activity.
Keyword Case study
Design activity
Design practice
Research methods
Practices of analysis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 9 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 24 Aug 2012, 19:40:00 EST by Ben Matthews on behalf of School of Information Technol and Elec Engineering