Experience reflection modelling (ERM) as a generative research method and student engagement in product design at undergraduate level

Turhan, Senem
Research approaches driven by design thinking have the potential to bridge early stages of design process to idea generation phases in design education. Generative research is emerged from participatory approach which is used at early stages of design process aims to elicit user needs, experiences, expectations and preferences by using generative tools and techniques through helping non-designer participants express their thoughts, feelings, opinions effectively independent of their skills and abilities in research process. Within the context of this thesis, a research method namely Experience Reflection Modelling (ERM) has been developed and incorporated into various educational cases in the third-year industrial design studio at the undergraduate level at the Middle East Technical University (METU). The ERM as a design research method is emerged from participatory approach and generative research. It is the combination of tools and techniques that are strategically put together to enable people’s involvement in early phases of design process, and connects design students and potential users through creating an effective medium for knowledge transfer. In this study, investigating the implication of the ERM for design education, and exploring the tools and the techniques enriching student engagement in the ERM method are the main emphases. The ERM in design education focuses on bridging the gap between research phases of design process and idea generation phase through providing design students with skills and techniques for uncovering user knowledge. It also encourages design students to integrate user knowledge into their design knowledge for idea generation. This thesis provides reflections on design research based on the doctoral study and guidelines considering the factors affecting student engagement (e.g. clarity, professionalism involvement of the participant, time planning, collaboration, etc.) for the design educators who would like to incorporate the ERM into an educational project.


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Citation Formats
S. Turhan, “Experience reflection modelling (ERM) as a generative research method and student engagement in product design at undergraduate level,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.