Questions, Hypotheses & Conjectures was created with research students in mind; however, the issues and ideas are relevant to all members of the design community. It contains not only current design research projects but also the debates, dialogical thinking, and intellectual struggles involved in arriving at research questions.
There are two contributions from each author: the original abstract or poster with comments and a final paper. The comments highlight the paper’s positive directions and ambitious goals, point out critical issues to explore, and also expose oversights common to the early stages of academic research.
The papers are arranged to follow the typical steps a researcher takes in the journey of arriving at grounded questions, plausible hypotheses, or informed conjectures. Each group of papers gives a sense of what is generally required or achieved at that step. Taken as a whole, the papers show that arriving at research questions, hypotheses, and conjectures is an achievement and requires a demanding process that is often unfamiliar to and underestimated by beginning researchers.
Themes include service and socially oriented design, design thinking and method development, management of multidisciplinary design teams, and design as meaning construction. The special articles raise the fundamental and not-yet-resolved issues of the bases and purposes of design research.
Rosan Chow is manager of the DRNetwork and senior research scientist at the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories.
Gesche Joost is co-initiator of the DRNetwork and professor in interaction design & media, TU Berlin.
Wolfgang Jonas is co-initiator of the DRNetwork and professor in system design at the University of Kassel.