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How do I Research?: Creative Research

A guide to conducting research for OCAD U coursework and beyond

What is Creative Research?

If research is a thoroughly individualized process, then creative research, using studio-based approaches to learning, is even more complex.  One approach is to shift between deductive and inductive models depending on the THEORIES, CONTEXT, or SPECIFICS you uncover throughout your research. This more fluid approach to research is known as:

  • ABDUCTIVE reasoning; an approach that takes accepted knowledge and infers the “best available” explanations for what is observed.


  • DEDUCTION infers conclusions using a GENERAL THEORY (hypothesis) to observe the CONTEXT of SPECIFIC case-studies


  • INDUCTION infers conclusions using CONTEXTUAL observation of SPECIFIC case-studies to create a GENERAL THEORY (hypothesis)


  • ABDUCTION infers relationships by choosing either deductive or inductive reasoning based on the circumstances of the:
    • observations of a SPECIFIC case-study
    • research found on the CONTEXT of case-studies
    • understanding of GENERAL THEORIES

In short, you—as the researcher—have more flexibility is defining how your research will be conducted.  Rather than the LINEAR aspect of traditional forms of reasoning, abductive research is more organic and rhizomatic.

For More Information:

Johnston, Ron. "Abduction." The Dictionary of Human Geography. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2009. Credo Reference. 3 Sept. 2015. Web.

"Gilles Deleuze.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008; rev. 2012. Web.