Research on design reflection : overview and directions

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Design reflection is getting increasing attention in design research, education, and practice. There are, however, a number of types of design reflection being studied, which differ in definition, goal, theoretical basis, and possible use. The same confusion about reflection on design processes occurs in practice and education, where terms like design reflection, design review, project evaluation, status report, and feedback session are mixed. As a result, it is unclear what has already been achieved and what are remaining questions for further research on design reflection. This paper gives an overview of the most important research results on design reflection and structures these according to the three types of design reflection distinguished by Schön, namely ‘reflection-in-action’, ‘reflection-on-action’, and ‘reflectionon-practice’. As far as possible, characteristics of each type are described and similarities and differences between the three types are identified. Based on the created overview, directions for further research are indicated for each type and for their combination. The paper demands for more explicitness about type of reflection, proposes the development of a common understanding of each type, and encourages the development of different forms of support. This must help defining the possible contribution and benefits of each type in specific design situations in practice and education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 03), Stockholm, 19-21 August 2003
EditorsA Folkeson, K Gralèn, M Norell, U Sellgren
Place of PublicationSweden
PublisherKTH, Royal Institute of Technology
ISBN (Print)1-904670-00-8
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Event14th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2003 - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 19 Aug 200321 Aug 2003


Conference14th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2003
Abbreviated titleICED 03


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