Article 1: Defining Architectural Research

A. Nature (and characteristics?)

Because architecture is one of the most ubiquitous and longstanding areas of human endeavor. Architectural research must be considered in light of its contribution to the emergence of general and inter-subjectively acceptable (accepted, accessible?) knowledge.

(European keywords: culture, quality of life, sustainable development, economics/industry, innovation, society)

Architectural research supports education both directly, through research training of future architects, and indirectly, by providing for the continual advancement of the discipline.

Architectural research is not the exclusive property of the academy, but inevitably emerges from and contributes to architectural practice.

Architectural research shares intellectual bases with other disciplines while possessing (maintaining?) its own set of processes and/or questions. It often uses results from relevant fields, while also contributing new knowledge and understanding in return.

--Milan, 21 January 2011

Substantive comment by eaaeDV, not yet incorporated into official text :
Architectural research can and does contribute, although sometimes in relatively minor or marginal ways, to all of the research areas identified as having priority under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological, Development (2007-2013). Below, these areas are listed; each is followed by, in parentheses, at least one subject currently addressed by researchers in European architecture schools and research groups. These subjects are of course only intended to illustrate the diversity of architectural research; an exhaustive list would include many others.
• Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology (Wood production, re-forestation)
• Information and Communication Technologies (Design Theories and Methods)
• Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies (Materials characterization and prototyping)
• Energy (Rational and alternative energy use)
• Environment (Urbanisation, Regional Environmental Planning, Urban agriculture, Water use, Historic preservation and restoration)
• Transport (Infrastructure design)
• Socio-economic sciences and Humanities (Urban sociology, Architectural History, Art and Architectural Theory)
• Security (Building type studies: airports, embassies, prisons, etc.)
• Space (Studies of habitations and work spaces outside the Earth's atmosphere)

Historically, the epistemological diversity of architectural research, ranging freely between "hard" and "soft", between fundamental and applied research, has perhaps been a disadvantage or a source of perceived weakness. It should on the contrary be emphasized as a strong point, and supported as such by funding agencies.


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