International Journal of Art & Design Education

Managing Heuristics as a Method of Inquiry in Autobiographical Graphic Design Theses

Volume 30.2   2011



This article draws on case studies undertaken in postgraduate research at AUT University, Auckland. It seeks to address a number of issues related to heuristic inquiries employed by graphic design students who use autobiographical approaches when developing research-based theses. For this type of thesis, heuristics as a system of inquiry may provide a useful approach because it engages the researcher in a process that affirms imagination, intuition, subjectivity and forms of creative/critical/reflective problem solving. When employed as a framework, heuristics offers a rewarding but challenging system for connecting investigation with the researcher's personal experience. This article provides a discussion of heuristic's applications, limitations and advantages in relation to a number of recent postgraduate theses in graphic design. Through this, it seeks to provide a useful reflection on challenges and opportunities inherent within it as a system of inquiry.