"Engagement with contemporary media typically involves a complex interchange of visual information, aspirations, ideas, and references to other media, across an array of electronic and print formats. However, the traditional research paradigms have tended to treat people as audiences of specific forms and genres, and have then expected them to describe their reception and interpretation of these messages, in words, to researchers. Thus the complex, multi-layered, visual world of today's media consumption is sliced up and dissolved into straightforward, written accounts of its 'reception'.
The ArtLab studies represent a new type of research in which media consumers' own creativity, reflexivity and knowingness is harnessed, rather than ignored. In these studies, individuals are asked to produce media or visual material themselves, as a way of exploring their relationship with particular issues or dimensions of media."
©2007-2010 David Gauntlett
His approach can thus be seen as an alternative to interviews and focus groups - a face-to-face, qualitative method of inquiry, that incorporates some aspects of quasi-experiment, aspects of user-centred research, aspects of ethnography and aspects of media education. I've asked that you hone in on the LEGO Serious Play project, so that we have a mutual reference point example of the method in action. Also, the project website is filled to the brim with descriptions, examples and other materials from the LEGO studies, including slideshows, videos (e.g. check out this overview of the method itself), and data samples.
If you love this approach (or are just curious about it), you should definitely check out Creative Explorations - an entire book about Gauntlett's creative research methods!