Experimental Systems in Research through Design

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Research through Design (RtD), a research approach that employs methods and approaches from design as a mode of inquiry, has gained momentum within HCI. However, the approach is not yet formalised, and there are ongoing debates about fundamental issues, such as how to articulate and evaluate knowledge that springs from RtD, and how this knowledge is comparable to knowledge from other forms of research. I propose that Rheinberger's conceptualisation of experimental systems, originally developed in the domain of the natural sciences, offers insights that can add to the understanding of these issues, and in turn to the development of RtD as a research approach. I examine key characteristics of experimental systems as they pertain to RtD, with a focus on the role of designs and forms of knowledge representation. I furthermore propose that the experimental systems perspective can shed light on similarities and differences between RtD and other research approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2016 - Proceedings, 34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems : Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages6
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2016
Pages 4991-4996
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-3362-7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450333627
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - California, San Jose, United States
Duration: 7 May 201612 May 2016


ConferenceACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose


  • Design theory
  • Epistemology
  • Experimental systems
  • Research design
  • Research through Design


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental Systems in Research through Design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this