Course syllabus

Forskningsmetodik i industridesign
Research Methods in Industrial Design

IDEN35, 5 credits, A (Second Cycle)

Valid for: 2013/14
Decided by: Education Board E
Date of Decision: 2013-04-17

General Information

Main field: Industrial Design.
Compulsory for: MID2
Elective for: MD4
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English


This course aims to prepare the student for planning, executing and reporting research studies that aim to inform and support decisions made in design projects. The course provides an introduction to theory and methodology of science, and various perspectives on scientific design research.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

For a passing grade the student must demonstrate:
- knowledge about possible methodological choices in conducting research by writing a report covering i) a plan for a research project, and ii) critical reflections on the study’s rationale, limitations, and alternative approaches.
- understanding of central terminology by using concepts such as validity, reliability, research question etc. in his or her report.
- awareness of the relation between the students own work and other design research.
- awareness of assumptions associated with different methods

Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must

For a passing grade the student must demonstrate ability to:
- phrase a research question based in an explicitly identified gap in established knowledge (i.e. theory)
- identify alternative approaches to answering a research question or testing a hypothesis
- with guidance collect and interpret data in a small pre-study.
- communicate a study’s rationale, methodology, (expected) outcomes, Limitations & Implications, orally as well as in written reports

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must

- in seminars, peer reviews and reports demonstrate ability to make informed decisions and critically reflect on strengths, weaknesses and consequences of methodological choices including ethical considerations.


The course gives a basic introduction to different perspectives on research in industrial design, and various research methods supporting different design activities (establishing objectives, evaluating solutions etc.).
The course gives an overview of how to plan and structure a research project with special emphasis on using research methods within a design project including specifying research questions, planning, data collection and analysis, and finally scientific reporting.
The course also covers basic principles and terminology from Theory of Science.
During the course the student will be introduced to various theories, methods and concepts which will then be elaborated in practical exercises and assignments. Throughout the course the student will work with planning a small research study. Various aspects of this plan will be taken as the starting point for discussions and critical reflections.
After completing the course the student should be able to plan, carry out, report, and critically reflect on a small research study

Examination details

Grading scale: UG
Assessment: The assessment is based on shorter assignments and a longer report to be presented at a seminar at the end of the course. To pass the course the student must complete all assignments and through these demonstrate that the learning goals are met. In case of group work, the contribution of each student must be clearly stated and acknowledged by the group.


The number of participants is limited to: No
The course overlaps following course/s: IDE081

Reading list

Contact and other information

Course coordinator: Anders Warell,
Teacher: Elin Olander,
Course homepage:
Further information: Educational form: Lectures, seminars, and exercises as well as self-studies.