On Sep 2, 2011, at 11:51 AM, Terence Love wrote:
> The approach I used was to
> identify a comprehensive and epistemologically unique sequence of
> categories that were 'generic' (in terms of design theories) and
> had a
> hierarchical dependence on each other's validity. This meant that a)
> design theories could be placed 'somewhere' in these nine
> categories; b) the
> theoretical dependencies of each theory can be identified upstream and
> downstream; c) any theory can be identified in terms of whether it
> is part
> of a whole theory path from one end to the other of the hierarchy;
> d) it
> allows identification of 'gaps' or failures of justification of
> theories; and, e) it provides a really effective and obvious tool of
> identifying where new design theories are needed, i.e. opportunities
> for new
> funded design research.
> These categories might not be the exact ones that other
> researchers would
> have identified. They seem to provide, however, the only (to date)
> solid and
> coherent theoretical basis for fully and coherently analysing the
> relationships and validity of individual design theories, and an
> ontologically and epistemologically coherent and reliable
> foundation for
identifying and making new theory.
> If you or anyone on the list knows of better tools for the same
> please let me know. I'd love to use them.
I'm not the one to say whether the following is better or not. It does
meet the same criteria you were using, as far as I can tell.
A Structure for Design Research
It seems to me that research in support of designing thinking is
perhaps best addressed in terms of the types of information present in
the problematic situations addressed. Such a parsing of information
can provide structure for determining research methods to apply in any
situation. If, as I have suggested, design thinking, incorporates
different modes of thought to address different kinds of information
it is reasonable to suggest that research methods can be parsed
accordingly. To wit:
1. Intentional information concerning goals, policies, and strategies
requires research into how objectives and approaches arise, become
implemented and are executed.
2. Referential information relevant to problematic situations requires
research into how factual evidence is defined and how its relevance is
3. Relational information by which such factual evidence is linked
into conceptual models, explanations, and plans requires research
methods that deal with structural issues relating intent to context.
4. Formative Information through which structured information is
expressed and communicated requires research into how meaning arises
through synthesis, interpretation, and interaction.
5. Procedural information requires research that addresses the
dynamics and transformations that occur when an intended action is
implemented and executed.
6. Evaluative information requires research into how the consequences
of action are judged and valued.
7. Reflective information requires research into how experience is
recalled and interpreted when addressing new situations.
Such a structured approach to design research seems far more pertinent
to design as an intentional and pragmatic activity. It applies to any
aspect of design, whether by, for, or through.
 Charles Burnette, 2009: A Theory of Design Thinking, Academia Edu
(I was using this to interpret your first model, which passed with
flying colors.) I think your nine part model reaches too far to be
coherent regarding design.