From DesignX Wiki
One distinguishing characteristic of DesignX research it is conducted by researchers with technical backgrounds in
design. This encourages empathy with the subjects of our research, but it also induces researchers to adopt design
as a research method. Design is applied to adapt traditional methods for research, providing new tools for data
collection and analysis; research on design observatories, noun-phrase analysis, internet knowledge repositories, instrumented workspaces  emerged as a natural byproduct of our efforts to understand design. Design researchers are also able to build innovative designs, prototyping the design artifacts of the future to gain insights on the issues, constraints and opportunities which designers will face in years to come. By employing design as a tool and method for conducting research, we are able to better understand how design occurs, and expand the realm of how design is applied.