Design Education and Learning









The use of argumentation in design research 

Stella Boess

TU Delft

Keywords: Toulmin argumentation, design research, design education, research methodology


This paper proposes argumentation as a key skill that ties research methodology into design. The paper first aligns Toulmin argumentation with the role of design and design results and then provides an example of how this skills set can be acquired in the context of design. Argumentation can be used to place design in societal context. A design education course is presented with its starting points and teaching activities in order to illustrate the application of argumentation in design research. The course is compared with another recently presented course that takes the same argumentation model as an underlying principle. The comparison between the courses reveals how materials can be geared towards different emphases in learning goals. The paper concludes with an outlook towards further uses of the argumentation model as a basis for design research. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Boess, S. (2016). The use of argumentation in design research. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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