The number of research for design methods is increasing every year, but existing literature
reveals very little about the state of research in communication design in the South African
context. It is not clear whether practitioners are implementing the methods, whether the methods
are suitable to the South African context, or even whether practitioners are aware of the methods
in the first place. This study is exploratory in nature and investigates three aspects of
communication design practitioners’ relationship with current research for design methods:
awareness, attitudes and aptitude. These three aspects are collectively referred to as
The study briefly covers the etymology of research for design and the literature that is currently
available from the South African industry. The literature review for the study is divided into two
sections, the first investigating what research is and what constitutes acceptable scholarly
research practices.The second part of the literature review establishes what the state of the art in
research for design is and gives some idea of what good research for design practices look like, in
the broader context of acceptable scholarly research practices.
Four heterogeneous case companies are investigated in terms of their conversance with research
for design methods, using a mixed methods embedded design. The field research data for these
case studies is discussed separately, whereafter a cross-case analysis is conducted, to help
guide the lines of inquiry in future research projects investigating research practices in the South
African communication design industry. The study ends by making recommendations for further
research, based on the outcomes.
Mini-dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2015.