Updated: Apr 16, 2021
Research marks the first step in any design project, the point is to learn from as many relevant sources as possible. Learn about what though? What are the relevant sources? How do we rely on the information that we read? Why do we prefer one side over the other?
These questions are important to ask and it leads us to more fundamental places from where we can clearly begin to orient our research thus moulding shape of the project.
Below is a set of ideas that constitute research methodology. Ontology is the broadest idea that deals with what is there for us to know and sources of knowledge make up the last bit of the process.
We begin with ontology which deals with what is there to 'know' about the reality and epistemology which deals with all the 'ways of knowing' the knowledge through means of perception, intuition, reason or faith.
Ontology and epistemology gives rise to philosophical perspectives (system of generalized views of the world, which form beliefs that guide action) which deal with methodology (strategy), methods (technique) and sources of knowledge.
Axiology deals with value of a given knowledge. Ethics (actions) and aesthetics (beauty).
Our knowledge of reality that we amass and construct from various philosophical perspectives, methodologies, methods and sources, and compounded by the value we attach to them, forms the base of all our understanding. Read this article for more information on this topic.
Conshumourism believes in a subjectivism epistemology which essentially means that the meanings exists within the subject and subject imposes meaning on an object. The philosophical or theoretical perspective employed is the critical theory which essentially is an approach to social philosophy that focuses on reflective assessment and critique of society and culture in order to reveal and challenge power structures. With origins in sociology and literary criticism, it argues that social problems are influenced and created more by societal structures and cultural assumptions than by individual and psychological factors.