In Germany, doctorates in the design principle are developing with increased enrolments, completions and new programs. However we know little about the motivations, experiences and challenges of current candidates. Mixed-methods studies employ qualitative and quantitative methods to research such educational issues. On the basis of qualitative and quantitative data from a survey of doctoral students (n=39) gathered during a publicly funded research exchange, the authors demonstrate what can be learned through such methodologies. In this paper, we focus on the research methodology as it is applied in different studies in design in Germany and may be used as a basis for similar studies in other regions or domains. The study findings indicate some of the current tensions and challenges in this area, which require addressing as doctoral design in Germany develops.
Proceedings of 'Diversity and Unity,' the 4th World Conference on Design Research (IASDR 2011), Delft, the Netherlands, 31 October - 04 November / N. F. M. Roozenburg, L. L. Chen and P. J. Stappers (eds.)