European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry edition:1 location:Leuven date:7-10 February 2017
The review intends to investigate what is known from existing literature about creative research methods exploring user experience in research and architectural design processes in healthcare generally or in cancer care. Approaching patients and caregivers as experts, means not only relying on their present and past experience, but also accessing their latent needs and offering an opportunity to formulate their vision of the future. Engaging stakeholders in a creative manner may offer opportunities for a deeper understanding of experience. Also, co-creating experience in design is common where it concerns product design but this approach is only recently gaining ground in architectural design.
The objectives of this systematized review are to: 1) carryout a systematic search of the literature across multidisciplinary fields; 2) examine and compare the features of the found methods; and 3) synthesise and summarise findings.
A database search and a grey literature search were conducted for the period 1990 (or inception) to June 2016. The database search strategy consists of three strings: 1) Setting: Healthcare Context; 2) Interest: Spatial Experience; and 3) Design/ method: Creative Research. Figure 1 shows a list of the search terms as used in the database search. Six databases were selected to include both multidisciplinary and subject-specific sources. The timespan was determined based on a theoretical framework and we limited the search to English language materials. Abstract, titles, keywords and subject were searched although exact field definitions differ per database. Findings were saved to Zotero reference manager and tagged with a search-specific code, duplicates were removed and abstracts were screened independently by two researchers.
In addition four key journals and six conferences were identified for the grey literature review. All titles included in these publications and proceedings were scanned. The selected abstracts were then reviewed by a second researcher. Disagreements were resolved in consultation.
We give an overview of choices that were made as the protocol was developed. We discuss inherent challenges in reviewing creative methods and design research. We show how unique identifiers for methods such as design games may fall outside of a search even when meeting inclusion criteria. Also limited or absent abstracts complicate screening procedures. In terms of content the grey literature review is valuable and yet the available search method (i.e. scanning titles) is less accurate.
The review will enable researchers to determine which methods have been found to deliver in depth data of the user experience of the built environment. The protocol will prove to be helpful in carrying out reviews in related fields contributing to knowledge synthesis techniques for qualitative research. We furthermore anticipate that the dissemination of design-related research outside of peer-reviewed journals will continue and will require further work to ensure inclusion in processes of knowledge synthesis. How far systematic reviews in design-related fields will diverge from traditional review methods remains a point for discussion.