1st Edition

Heuristic Enquiries Research Across Disciplines and Professions

Edited By Welby Ings, Keith Tudor Copyright 2025
    228 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    228 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Heuristic Enquiries provides an illuminating exploration of heuristic research by offering case studies of heurism in theory and practice across a number of disciplines, including art and design, psychology, psychotherapy, social care, social geography and indigenous studies.


    Heuristic research is a major method and methodology in qualitative research, emphasising the value of discovery, whether of the self, or the self with others. It is also misunderstood, misrepresented, and, in certain disciplines or fields marginalised. This volume offers a major contribution to heuristic research by offering case studies of heuristics from specific disciplines, interdisciplinary practices and professional contexts.The book is introduced with a review of the evolution of heuristic inquiry and includes chapters that discuss a comparative study of heuristic inquiry in AI and in artistic research, heuristic research in a time-limited context, and heuristic supervision.


    This unique book is a comprehensive overview of the relationship between research and practice for postgraduate and doctoral research students, as well as academics, researchers and practitioners.

    Gathering In

    Keith Tudor and Welby Ings


    Looking Back

    1. A Review of the Evolution of Heuristic Inquiry

    Hossein Najafi, Keith Tudor, Welby Ings, and Akbar Ghobakhlou


    Stepping Forward

    2. Heuristic Inquiry, Rangahau, the Explicit and the Esoteric

    Tangaroa Paora


    3. Resonances between Heuristic Inquiry and the Persian Illuminative Thinking

    Hossein Najafi


    4. Heuristics in Visual Art Process

    F. Derek Ventling


    5. Documenting Grief: A Heuristic Inquiry

    Elizabeth Hoyle


    6. A Heuristic for the Habits of Improving Care

    Maurice Hamington


    7. Heuristic Inquiry and Narrative Analysis in Psychotherapeutic Research

    Elizabeth Nicholl


    Reaching Across

    8. A Comparative Study of Heuristic Inquiry in AI and Artistic Research

    Akbar Ghobakhlou and Hossein Najafi

    9. Catalyst and Constraint: The Question of Time in Heuristic Research

    Guy Cousins, Alana Humphris, Anna Kingi, Luke Oram, and Keith Tudor


    10. Discovering Heuristic Supervision: A Collaborative Enquiry

    Keith Tudor and Welby Ings


    Facing Outwards

    11. Epilogue

    Welby Ings and Keith Tudor


    Welby Ings is a Professor of Design at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, and is an award-winning designer, filmmaker, and writer.

    Keith Tudor is Professor of Psychotherapy at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. A qualified social worker and psychotherapist, he now works primarily as an academic.

    "This volume makes a significant contribution to the field of qualitative research by offering a comprehensive and nuanced exploration of heuristic inquiry.

    The book fills a critical gap in the literature by moving beyond theoretical discussions to showcase the practical application of heuristics across diverse disciplines. The case studies presented, spanning art and design, documentary-making, indigenous studies, psychotherapy, and social care, effectively demonstrate the versatility and rigour of this often-misunderstood approach.

    The book’s strength lies in its balanced perspective. It emphasises the potentiality of heuristic research and its unique value in fostering personal discovery, enhancing creativity, and navigating uncertainty as essential aspects of the research process. The inclusion of chapters on heuristic inquiry in AI and time-limited contexts further broadens the scope and relevance of the book.

    Heuristic Enquiries: Research Across Disciplines and Professions is a valuable resource for researchers across disciplines, particularly those seeking to deepen their understanding of epistemology. Through its engaging case studies and insightful discussions, the book not only illuminates the power of this methodology but also encourages a more nuanced understanding and appreciation of its role in advancing qualitative research.

    Welby Ings and Keith Tudor are accomplished and recognised scholars in their respective fields and their research and academic activities consistently demonstrate their deep understanding of complexity." -- Sérgio Nesteriuk Gallo, Professor of Postgraduate Design, Anhembi Morumbi University, São Paulo; Deputy Coordinator in Architecture, Urbanism, and Design at Coordination of Superior Level Staff Improvement, Brazil

    "This endorsement is written with the highest regard for the editors Welby Ings and Keith Tudor each of whom are formidable and prolific authors in their own right. As the driving force behind this publication, they have applied the power of their combined intellects to engage trans-disciplinary and cross-cultural contributing scholars and to curate skilfully a thorough, multi-perspectival, yet highly accessible insight into the many dimensions of heuristic inquiry.

    This book establishes the invaluable potential of heuristic enquiry to quantitative and qualitative research across fields as diverse as allied health, AI, the arts, computer science, education, mathematics, and psychology. First drawing in and grounding the reader through an engaging, insightful introduction to heuristic inquiry, the book leads us on a journey of discovery through an array of disciplinary perspectives. Contributing authors, from across various disciplinary fields and cultures, provide multifaceted insights into how heuristic enquiry can enable researchers to traverse unchartered fields and unpredictable ground, engage with challenging questions and complex subjects, immerse in speculative exploration, discover new paths and insights, and illuminate new knowledge.

    Providing an invaluable reference for scholars across diverse disciplines, this book will prove an especially valuable guide to scholars engaged in emergent fields, such as creative practice research, as well as scholars incorporating indigenous knowledges, ontologies, and epistemologies into their research projects. It not only explains why heuristic enquiry is of value, and how it can be deployed in a wide range of research settings, it also provides diverse exemplars of its application in practice." -- Professor Jillian Hamilton, Interactive and Visual Design, School of Design, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    "Can literature and the visual arts be part of legitimate research? Can good research involve the very person of the researcher? This remarkable book sets out to illuminate the many ways that heuristic research ‘invites us to enquire about ourselves, others, and the world’. Starting with the history of heuristics evolving approaches in exploring personal and phenomenological knowledge, this rich, engaging, and substantial book significantly adds to heuristic inquiry in the fields of psychotherapy and social care. It also goes far further, describing heuristic research from cultural thinking outside traditional Western constructs such as spiritual dimensions that are a feature of Māori research, and the Persian concept of illuminative thinking, to contemporary visual arts practice, documentary-making, and comparative study of heuristic inquiry in artificial intelligence and in artistic research. This will be a go to resource for anyone interested in exploring this exciting and expanding area." -- Del Loewenthal, Emeritus Professor of Psychotherapy and Counselling, University of Roehampton, London, United Kingdom, and Chair of the Southern Association of Psychotherapy and Counselling, UK

    "This book is destined to become a ‘go to’ resource for anyone wishing to conduct heuristic research whatever their context and scope of interest. After ‘Gathering In’, an opening that sets the frame for the collection, Chapter 1 offers a concise overview of the evolution and current theoretical understanding of qualitative and quantitative heuristic inquiry. What follows is a banquet of culturally and topically diverse studies which lead the reader into the rich complexity of contemporary human science research.

    The various authors effectively demonstrate what more human research can reveal when it engages life holistically on its own terms, refusing to reduce, dominate, or control the dynamic collaborative and participatory process. Studies consider an interesting range of theoretical and applied questions. One work, for instance, explores commonalities and divergences between a Western framework such as Moustakas’ heuristic inquiry and aspects of Persian thought, illustrating how such an exploration allows for deeper understanding of both. There is an exploration of what is meant by the term ‘good care’. Another author offers a heuristic study of the experience of psychotherapy for someone diagnosed with schizophrenia. The final section of the book widens the aperture even further by bringing applications and reflections from disciplines beyond psychology making heuristic inquiry more contemporary, pluralistic, and relevant to today’s challenges.

    It is this diversity in topics addressed while remaining within a well-defined heuristic discipline that marks this book as extraordinary. By providing an overview, examples of research in practice, as well as avenues for further exploration as it does the book offers the would-be researcher a practical multidimensional view of where they might focus and how they might design their own inquiry. Inspiring and useful!" -- Maureen O’Hara, Professor of Psychology, National University, La Jolla, California, United Sates of America