Using Corpus Linguistics to Analyse how Design Research Frames ‘Design Thinking’
Keywords:Design Thinking, Corpus Linguistics, Discourse, Discourse Communities, Ways of Speaking
Academic research communities create knowledge which helps them to claim authority over their investigative domain. The knowledge is not necessary objectively true—often it is skewed to help communities to claim legitimacy. This paper investigates how the design research community frames ‘Design Thinking’, a key concept in design research. Existing literature identifies skewed methods which the community uses when framing Design Thinking. The literature suggests that creating an artificial separation between the ways that designers and scientists think helps the community to claim knowledge on Design Thinking. To further investigate how the community creates knowledge, this paper subjects abstracts from peer-reviewed journal papers which focus on Design Thinking to empirical analysis using Corpus Linguistics methods. The study suggests that use of ‘nominals’ and the creation of ‘meta-knowledge’ helps researchers to claim authority on Design Thinking. These practices appear however to perpetuate an artificial separation between Design Thinking and other design domains.