Methodologies Overview

My research interests span the fields of human-centred & systemic design and public & social innovation. Human-centred design (HCD) is a group of methods and principles that are aimed at designing useful, usable, pleasurable and meaningful products or services for people. Systemic design is the field that combines systems thinking and design to address complex societal problems. Public & social innovation is the application of these ways of thinking in the public and social sector.

Within both areas we can distinguish methodologies and methods. Methods are procedures for approaching or accomplishing something. They are often described in a step-by-step mode. Methodologies are the systemic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a field of study. As such methodologies often relate to many methods. They can serve as a ‘backbone’ for a specific approach.

In the HCD field I have gained expert knowledge in the methodologies of ‘Scenario Based Design’ and ‘Design for dynamic and diverse use situations’. The majority of my HCD expertise and knowledge stems from my research on and with design teams in the Netherlands during my PhD.

In the Social design innovation field I have expertise in the Frame Creation methodology developed by professor Kees Dorst. Furthermore, I have contributed to the development of the Frame Creation workshop, which is a specific method within the methodology. I have gained this expertise while working at the UTS Design Innovation Research Centre.

A key element of my recent research has been the development of a four-layer model of insights into human Needs and Aspirations for Design and Innovation (NADI). The model can be applied in both the HCD and Social Innovation field to reflect on the types of insights that are gathered through the various methods within the fields.

My current research interests are about combining systems thinking and human centred design. In this study I for example looked at how we can adjust service design to complex societal contexts, by taking a systemic perspective.

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