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Does intuition follow a certain pattern? Can we ‘organize’ the intuitive processes while doing design research? And is it even possible to fathorn the systematics of the intuitive process?  On the 25th of January, we discussed how the design researchers involved in the various CRISP design research projects, balance between reflection and intuition.

Almost all Research Associates at the Readership Strategic Creativity (8 in total) agreed upon the fact that they are continuously balancing between analysing, reflection and intuition. At first sight, this seems a rather chaotic process; there is no predefined order like f.e. the scientific process where usually gathering data follows analysing follows reflection.

But while discussion this on a deeper level, and moreover by drawing and sketching the research process (see images below), the Research Associates came to the conclusion that there is actually an underlying pattern visible. Most of the research processes are iterative processes, where the researches goes back and forth; he circles around the problem using both his intuition and reflection. But over time, these iterations, by reflecting on a deeper level, become more defined. Or to relate it to the drawings and sketches; the wavy lines of the squiggle seem to diverge. Possible answers to the overriding research questions are narrowing down and the intuitive process starts to fade into a rather analytical methodology.

It shows perfectly how the Readership Strategic Creativity tries to do research through designing by using both the designers ability to reflect and analyse simultaneously. By this we think we can gain a deeper understanding of existing problems and add valuable knowledge on an academic level.


Are you interested to know more about our approach or you want to get an impression on what this kind of research implies? Drop by at the office or, if you are a DAE student apply for a position at one of our Open Design Spaces, where you can experience, during a monthly design research programme, what it means to do research through design. More info:



Published: 04-Mar-2013 12:54


  • Unravelling intuition


  • Unravelling intuition


  • Unravelling intuition