Design Theory and Methodology

The Design Theory and Methodology group carries out research and provides education on all aspects of the design process. The group is a fundamental part of the Industrial Design faculty providing structure for the studio-based design work of students and integrated in many other courses in the curriculum.

The DTM group, headed by Prof. dr. Petra Badke-Schaub, is part of the department of Product Innovation and Management within the faculty.

The three-level research programme of the DTM group focuses on the development of a human-centred design methodology that supports the designer in his way of designing:

  1. Theoretical level: theoretical concepts provide the starting point for design research that aims to generate knowledge about designing under various conditions.
  2. Empirical level: aims to evaluate hypotheses about the thinking and acting processes of designers and design teams.
  3. Application level: focuses on the application of methods including the adaptation of existing methods as well as the development of new methods derived from theory.

A recently initiated project, ‘Mental models in design teams’, focuses on the role of individual cognition in a social context with a major emphasis on the development and exchange of mental models in design groups.

The group contributes several courses to the faculty, provides support for the studio-based design education, and supervises various research and graduation projects.The principal course is the Master’s course on Design Theory & Methodology. The group also provides courses outside the Industrial Design Engineering faculty.

The framework for future design research in the DTM group: