Adaptation of Toulmin’s Model of Argumentation for Establishing Rigour and Relevance in Design Research

  • Pramod KhambeteEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 134)


Due to the diversity of topics and methodologies, there is a lack of consensus about criteria for validity and value of Design Research outcomes. However, reasoning and good arguments, apart from “experimental” proofs can demonstrate the validity of design knowledge. Leveraging Toulmin’s model of argumentation which is suitable for framing practical arguments offers excellent potential in this regard. We propose a scheme suitable for Design Research based on an adaptation of Toulmin’s model to guide the research, aid researchers in self-reflection and to ensure rigour and relevance of the research. The adaptation includes addition of a construct “Reasoning Mode”, factors the need to account for micro- and macro-claims space (and argument structure), and the inevitable iterations in a significant research project.


Design research Argumentation Toulmin’s model 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IDC School of DesignIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

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