Instruments of Inquiry: Understanding the Nature and Role of Design Tools

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Designers employ a range of tools in most design projects, yet there are few frameworks for understanding how and why they work. On the basis of a well-established school of thought, pragmatism, this paper contributes with a coherent conceptualisation of tools in design, which I label instruments of inquiry. This perspective underscores the crucial role that instruments play in design, and the ways in which they scaffold design creativity and exploration. In particular, it highlights that instruments not only augment our capabilities for carrying out intended actions, they also guide our perception and understanding of design problems and solutions. I present and discuss a framework consisting of five qualities of instruments of inquiry, which make them valuable in designerly inquiry: perception, conception, externalisation, knowing-through-action, and mediation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Design
ISSN1991-3761
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 109140982