"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
"Until recently, the field of design was an adjunct to art and craft. With the transformation of design into an industrial discipline come responsibilities that the field of design studies has only recently begun to address.
This transformation means that design is becoming a generalizable discipline that may as readily be applied to processes, media interfaces or information artefacts as to tools, clothing, furniture or advertisements. To understand design as a discipline that can function within any of these frames means developing a general theory of design. This general theory should support application theories and operational programmes. Moving from a general theory of design to the task of solving problems involves a significantly different mode of conceptualization and explicit knowledge management than adapting the tacit knowledge of individual design experience.
So far, most design theories involve clinical situations or micro-level grounded theories developed through induction. This is necessary, but it is not sufficient for the kinds of progress we need.
In the social sciences, grounded theory has developed into a robust and sophisticated system for generating theory across levels. A ‘grounded’ theory is an inductive theory emerging or rising from the ground of direct, empirical experience. These theories ultimately lead to larger ranges of understanding, and the literature of grounded theory is rich in discussions of theory construction and theoretical sensitivity (Glaser 1978, 1992; Glaser and Strauss 1967; Strauss 1991; Strauss and Corbin 1990, 1994).
One of the deep problems in design research is the failure to engage in grounded theory, developing theory out of practice. Instead, many designers confuse practice with research. Rather than developing theory from practice through articulation and inductive inquiry, some designers mistakenly argue that practice is research. From this, they claim that practicebased research is itself a form of theory construction."
(Ken Friedman, 2008, pp.153-154)
Ken Friedman (2008). "Research into, by and for design." Journal of Visual Arts Practice Volume 7 Number 2. Intellect Ltd. Article. English Language. doi: 10.1386/jvap.7.2.153/1
"The beacons of the philosophy of science include Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend, and Bruno Latour who refute scientism from various angles: arguing that scientific observations are theory and value laden, science takes place within communities, science can be anarchic, etc, all suggesting that science is as dependent on processes of interpretation, community, and tradition as any aspect of the humanities."
(Richard Coyne, 2011)
Excerpted from a letter to the editor, first published in ARQ: Richard Coyne (2011). What’s science got to do with it?. Architectural Research Quarterly, 15 , pp 205-206, doi:10.1017/S135913551100073X
"Reflection-in-action proceeds by a construction cycle of framing, naming, moving and reflecting. Framing and naming concern the problem-setting in that the designer constructs a problem out of a situation by naming the things to which she will pay attention whilst at the same time framing the way that the problem is viewed (Schön 1991). Framing in this sense imposes an order onto the problem; moves are made towards a solution in relation to how the situation is framed. However, the situation ‘talks back’; surprise at the outcomes of moves leads to reflecting. Reflecting on outcomes may trigger either further moves or a new framing (Schön 1996). Reflection-inaction is not an interruption to fluid action; it is always embedded within action."
(Simone Stumpf and Janet McDonnell, CiteSeerX)
1). Simone Stumpf and Janet McDonnell, "Individual Learning Styles and Perceptions of Experiential Learning in Design Teams"
"From the differences we have described, it might be assumed that the distinction between effective and evocative research is between the analytical and intuitive. However, it is important to note that, while analysis of the problem and context tends to come first in effective research, as in all research, it is intuition that leads to innovation. And, on the other hand, while evocative research may evolve intuitively through the interests, concerns and cultural preoccupations of the creative practitioner, it is rounded out and resolved by analytical insights.
Because of this combination of the intuitive and analytical, both ends of the spectrum may draw on bodies of theory such as Donald Schön’s (1983) theories of reflective practice and principles of tacit knowledge and reflection-in-action, to frame an iterative development process. However, differences can be identified between the form and outcomes of the iterative cycles and the type of feedback that informs the reflective process.
In effective research, an iterative design process may involve an action research model and prototyping (paper prototype, rapid prototype, functional prototype and so on). Each iterative stage is evaluated through user testing by a representative group of end users (through quantitative or qualitative surveys or observations of use, for example). The purpose of this testing is to gauge the artifact’s functionality, usability and efficacy. The gathered data informs changes and refinements in each cycle.
On the other hand, an artist might stage a number of preliminary exhibitions, but these are not staged to gather ‘data’, or to obtain successively closer approximations of a solution to a problem. Instead, they are part of an exploration of unfolding possibilities. Feedback might be sought from respected colleagues, and gathered in an informal setting (in the manner of a peer ‘critique’). The purpose of gathering such insights is to allow the artist to reflect upon the project and its evocation and affect and to see their work through the insights of others, which may shed new light on the practice and its possibilities."
(Jillian Hamilton and Luke Jaaniste, 2009)
2). Hamilton, J. and L. Jaaniste (2009). "The Effective and the Evocative: Practice-led Research Approaches Across Art and Design". ACUADS: The Australian Council of University Art & Design Schools, Brisbane, Queensland, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.