1. The systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.


  1. Investigate systematically.

At Design Academy Eindhoven, research may be conducted to discover how things are, but it may also be done in order to question conventional wisdom, criticise established practices, and explore opportunities for change. Researchers may aim to develop theory, but they may also aim to understand specific situations, as a constitutive part of a design process, and to develop methods and practical tools, as possible end results of a design research process. Depending on the specific context in which research takes place, it could include not only investigation, but also experimentation and interpretation.

According to a definition by Stuart Hill, research is conducted to satisfy our curiosity and desires in relation to understanding and explaining, meeting needs and wants, solving problems, controlling and predicting, being creative, designing and re-designing, improving situations and developing and progressing. Along these lines, we would like to stress that in the context of Design Academy Eindhoven’s approach to design research, research is not just about following a methodology, rather, we argue, researchers should first and foremost follow their passion to inquire – as Hill puts it, “methodology must serve your passion.”

To achieve results that can be expanded upon by others, research should first of all be accessible, which means that it should be conducted and documented systematically and/or rigorously. Systematic research entails conducting the research within a particular framework and follows certain procedures. Rigorous means that it is conducted in a thorough, diligent, careful way. Furthermore, in order that research can be expanded upon by others, it needs to be disseminated. In other words, it should be shared and discussed within the design research community.


  • Hill, S. B. (2005). Book of readings – qualitative research (for postgraduate coursework & research students). Sydney: School of education - Social ecology academic group, University of Western Sydney.
  • Krippendorf, K. (2007). Design research, an oxymoron? In R. Michel (Ed.). Design research now: Essays and selected projects (pp. 76–80). Basel/Boston/Berlin: Birkhäuser.