Contemporary design research and practice has become more interdisciplinary with greater collaboration and integration with other related disciplines – e.g. science, social sciences, humanities, etc. - creating new areas of study, such as design management, design thinking, and service design. Although the diversity of research topics in the design community continues to increase and expand, there has yet to be a corresponding increase in the development of theoretical basis of design itself, rather there has been an ongoing trend of appropriating ideas and theories from other disciplines.
This research aims to discover what constitutes the disciplinary core properties of design, and to what extent they are recognised and shared by design community. Defining the core knowledge in both research and practice contributes to the existence of distinct and coherent disciplinary identity for design. Further, this coherent picture will help to build an understanding of current interdisciplinary phenomena and activity in design research and practice, mapping out new study areas in design and their relationship based upon the identified disciplinary core of design.