"Perception of external sources of inspiration prompts new imaginings. Research on the role of externalisations in design thinking has concentrated on the role of sketching. Schön has shown that for many architects, sketching is an essential part of creative design, and creation is driven by making and perceiving sketches; Schön characterises design as an interactive conversation between mind and sketch. Designers directly appreciate different types of information in their own sketches, alternating between seeing that and seeing as. Ambiguity in sketches facilitates reinterpretation triggered by dissatisfaction with the current design. For designers who make active use of sources of inspiration in designing, they play a similar role to designers' own sketches."
(Claudia Eckerta, Martin Stacey, p.526, 2000, Design Studies)
 Purcell, A T and Gero, J S 'Drawings and the design process' Design Studies Vol 19 (1998) pp 389-430
 Schön, D A The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action Basic Books, New York (1983)
 Schön, D A and Wiggins, G 'Kinds of seeing and their functions in designing' Design Studies Vol 13 (1992) pp 135-156  Gabriela Goldschmidt 'The dialectics of sketching' Creativity Research Journal Vol 4 (1991) pp 123-143 [https://blog.itu.dk/DIND-E2010/files/2010/10/goldsmidt_dialectics_paper.pdf]
 McFadzean, J, Cross, N G and Johnson, J H 'Notation and Cognition in Conceptual Sketching' in Proceedings, VR'99 Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design MIT Press, Cambridge MA (1999)
Claudia Eckerta, Martin Stacey (2000). "Sources of inspiration: a language of design", Design Studies, Volume 21, Issue 5, September 2000, Pages 523-538
"Designers immerse themselves in environments rich in inspiration: collecting examples, amassing libraries, pinning notes and images around their workspaces, and so on. There is a broad recognition that much of the design proceeds by modification of previous ideas (e.g., Oxman, 1990) and that experts amass collections of examples and precedents to employ in design (e.g., Lawson, 2004). Indeed there are attempts to introduce students to relevant design precedents (e.g., Heylighen and Verstijnen, 2003). However, much of the previous research has tended to focus on reference, recall, and reasoning, and to neglect the vital role of explicit external sources of inspiration in triggering and guiding designers' activities. It appears that many attempts at computer support and most research starts with conceptual design; this paper reports on research which attempts to investigate the even earlier gathering of sources of inspiration and exploration of ideas and hence to understand the mechanisms by which inspiration is harnessed (see also Eckert and Stacey, 2000)."
(Marian Petrea, Helen Sharpa and Jeffrey Johnson, 2006, Design Studies)
Marian Petrea, Helen Sharpa and Jeffrey Johnson (2005). "Complexity through combination: an account of knitwear design", Volume 27, Issue 2, March 2006, Pages 183–222
"IDEO Method Cards is a collection of 51 cards representing diverse ways that design teams can understand the people they are designing for. They are used to make a number of different methods accessible to all members of a design team, to explain how and when the methods are best used, and to demonstrate how they have been applied to real design projects.
IDEO's human factors specialists conceived the deck as a design research tool for its staff and clients, to be used by researchers, designers, and engineers to evaluate and select the empathic research methods that best inform specific design initiatives. The tool can be used in various ways - sorted, browsed, searched, spread out, pinned up - as both information and inspiration to human-centered design teams and individuals at various stages to support planning and execution of design programs.
Inspired by playing cards, the cards are classified as four suits - Ask, Watch, Learn, Try - that define the types of activities involved in using each method. Each approach is illustrated by a real-life example of how the method was applied to a specific project. As new methods are developed all the time, the deck will grow and evolve over time.
In its first year, the Method Cards appeared to have unexpected relevance to groups that are not necessarily engaged in design initiatives. Clients report using the tool to explore new approaches to problem-solving, gain perspective, inspire a team, turn a corner, try new approaches, and to adapt and develop their own methods."
"Stylesight is the industry-leading content and technology solution for professionals in the style, fashion and design sectors. We deliver global information and a visionary online workspace designed to help you anticipate and analyze an ever-changing marketplace."
"Culture & Media reveals how the worlds of entertainment, media and digital and the creative side of marketing and advertising influence cultural movements that impact on business decisions. Expert reports on art, graphics, illustration and global exhibitions offer visual inspiration for inquisitive creative minds."
(Stylus media group)