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Within the ship design industry, and in particular in the development of large, complex and innovative vessels experienced ship designers play an important role in organizing and structuring the design process. How this actually happens within projects that develop such large, complex and innovative vessels for a single client is not clear. This observation lead to a broad, initial research question as the starting point for further research.

How are innovative, large and complex vessels developed in practice?

Because of the broad, explorative nature of this research question it was not possible to apply a research strategy aimed on justification and validation, an approach more common in ship design. After the evaluation of several alternatives a Deweyan inquiry was selected as most promising for this research, as it allowed for the parallel development of theory and practice in a pragmatic approach.

The doctoral thesis can be found in the university repository of the Delft University of Technology.