Architecture Thesis Research Methods

Architecture Thesis Research Methods-65
These efforts have been developed to a large extent in the context of the Design Research Society and its Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge (EKSIG).

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Acting (making) thus goes hand in hand with reflection in design processes.

In contrast to many other fields, studying design is always linked to practicing design – designing cannot be learned from books and without applied practice.

In the context of architectural design, is widely agreed that design research is difficult to contain for empirical research purposes (Lawson 1997, p.

39) and may require flexible modes of investigation.

The case study is a Ph D thesis in architecture written by the author.

Case Study: An Action Research Thesis in Architecture The positions outlined above indicate the importance of both design and research in the field of architecture as well as their complementary nature.Glanville (1998) even holds that scientific research is a restricted form of designing.More recently, designers working academically have increasingly emphasized the necessity of including designing in the methodological canon of academic inquiry.In the first stage of the study, a review of previous work in the field was conducted.This led to the creation of a preliminary extended CA model that was then subjected to a design process that simultaneously constituted the research inquiry.Only rarely however does academic work in these fields acknowledge and employ design as a research method.While I focus on the field of architecture in the following, the insights developed are to a large extent generalizable to other design-based fields.Summary This paper discusses the use of action research as a research method in architecture and design.It addresses the question of how academic work in the fields of architecture and design can pursue research through methods that are appropriate to the nature of design processes.This characteristic distinguishes departments of architecture or product design from other departments within universities, and has been a constant source of debate as to whether these fields can be considered properly “academic”.Among designers working academically, this generates challenging questions regarding the validity of their methods of inquiry in the wider academic context.


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