ABSTRACT

In the context of design research, experimental studies play a key role, accounting for a significant number of research publications in journals such as Design Studies, Research in Engineering Design and the Journal of Engineering Design. Further, design experimentation has been used extensively over the last 40 years (Cross, 2007). Recent examples include Bar-Eli’s (2013) work on sketching, Corremans’ (2009) work on design methods and Cai et al.’s (2010) work on sources of inspiration. Experimental studies form a fundamental part of design research by supporting both theory building and theory testing whilst also providing a flexible and readily accessible research approach (Stempfle and Badke-Schaub, 2002). However, with this increased popularity and more extensive scope of use comes the ongoing issue of ensuring research quality and effective implementation in, what frequently are, ever more complex situations (Blessing and Chakrabarti, 2009).