Design-Based Research in Relation to Science-Based Research

  • Ted KruegerEmail author
  • Ute C. Besenecker
Part of the Design Research Foundations book series (DERF)


How might a design approach be applied to research? Following Glanville’s observation that design and research are fundamentally related and that design methods may be applied across domains, we framed a case study of the perceptual effects of alternate contemporary lighting technologies at an architectural scale to show how a designer/researcher could approach this kind of investigation. Design proceeds in complex domains with incomplete data and open questions. It is often concerned with the singular or unique solution rather than with generalizability. Its products are applied under hybrid and dynamic, rather than controlled, conditions. Rather than work with subjects approximating a general population, informants were recruited with more extensive or diverse experiences than our own. Color perception was investigated in large-scaled installations allowing for locomotion and full visual immersion in a color-field. The effort was not to frame hypotheses for confirmation or refutation but probe the phenomena for insights. Design research methods might be preferred when the nature of the investigation is exploratory or when ecological validity dominates reliability. They might also be useful in situations where significant progress is no longer being made within a particular paradigm by recasting the nature of the inquiry outside the frameworks that presently dominate.


Design Science Methods Research Color 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture, Greene Building 212Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA
  2. 2.RaumseeleWest WarwickUSA

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