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  • Richard Herriott

Sampling in Design Research

Double-loop sampling is explained in an article discussed below.

Cash, P., Isaksson, O., Maier, A., & Summers, J. (2022). Sampling in design research: Eight key considerations. Design studies, 78, 101077. Tag: design research, methodology.


This is a particularly dense and intricate paper which is not amenable to a t-shirt-front summary. The two bits I will draw attention to are a) “Design research (the study of design) brings together a diverse set of philosophies and approaches including constructivism, participatory research through design, and qualitative and quantitative theory and methodology development”. This is one reason peer reviewers always have a reason to reject a paper: it´s too social science, too natural science, or just from the wrong tradition altogether (my comment). Moving on, the authors provide a useful model called the double-loop sampling process. Loop 1 is the definition loop and Loop 2 is the refinement loop. First, the research considers scientific concerns and practice concerns. From there, the researcher can start at any point in the definition loop: scope, generalization approach, sample schema, sample size, or theoretical framing. The second phase is refinement, related to the sampling strategy which means reconsidering each part of the definition loop. “We encourage researchers to report these ((sampling)) considerations in their papers to make justification, assumptions and limitations explicit” (p. 17). This article is potentially of great benefit to PhD students.

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