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26 MAY 2005

Research designs: basic, applied, clinical

"an important distinction that is employed by universities as well as corporate and governmental funding agencies. From the perspective of the type of problem addressed, research may be clinical, applied, or basic. ... Clinical research is, as the name suggests, directed toward an individual case. ... Clinical research focuses on the problem for action that the designer faces. To solve a particular, individual design problem, it is essential to gather whatever information or understanding may be relevant in its solution....applied research is directed towards problems that are discovered in a general class of products or situations. ... The common trait of applied research in design is the attempt to gather from many individual cases a hypothesis or several hypotheses that may explain how the design of a class of products takes place, the kind of reasoning that is effective in design for that class, and so forth. The third type of research is basic. It is research directed towards fundamental problems in understanding the principles–and sometimes the first principles–which govern and explain phenomena."
(Richard Buchanan, 2001)

[2] Buchanan, R. (2001). 'Design Research and the New Learning.' Design Issues 17(4, Autumn): 10, 17–18.

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