Visual and Textual Interfaces in Design Research

Considering the Value of Concept Maps as an Interior Design Research Tool


  • Tiiu Poldma University of Montreal
  • Mary Stewart McGill University



Concept maps, Design research, Interior design


Art and design creative techniques are increasingly used in educational and social sciences research as means to complement narrative qualitative research methodologies. Less known is the means by which interior design and visual arts students may use collage, concept maps or other artful visual tools when analysing the narrative in research. This paper demonstrates how artful methods can be combined with more traditional qualitative methodologies to uncover meaning in research texts or during the data analysis process. The authors show how both the phenomenon used and the method applied to data analysis offers a creative way to allow for meaning to emerge, while situating the research firmly in a phenomenological perspective of lived experience of the researcher through a collaborative conversation. Two visual examples are presented to demonstrate the phenomenon, and the discussion situates the usefulness of this type of research inquiry method.


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How to Cite

Poldma , Tiiu, and Mary Stewart. 2004. “Visual and Textual Interfaces in Design Research: Considering the Value of Concept Maps As an Interior Design Research Tool”. Idea Journal 5 (1):71-79.



Design Research Paper