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Architectural research may be seen to have two main contexts for its production, the academy and practice. Research ‘in’ is traditionally the domain of the academy and research ‘through’ that of practice, with research ‘for’ somewhere in the middle. Research ‘in’ has the most clearly defined methodologies and research outcomes, but at the same time is probably the most hermetic. Research ‘through’ is probably the least defined and often the most tacit but at the time a key defining aspect of architectural research. It is this area that needs developing most of all. It is vital that neither academic nor practice-based is privileged over the other as a superior form of research, and equally vital that neither is dismissed by the other for being irrelevant. (“You are all out of touch with reality”, says the practitioner. “You are muddied by the market and philistinism”, says the academic). There is an unnecessary antipathy of one camp to the other, which means that in the end the worth of research in developing a sustainable knowledge base is devalued.
The key to overcoming this problem lies in communication. Both the academy and practice often do not meet this central test for research: the academy because of its inward looking processes, practice because of its lack of rigorous dissemination.
Whilst academic research is subjected to stringent peer review and assessment procedures, it has been argued that this has led to inward-looking results produced more for the self-sustaining benefit of the academic community and less for the wider public and professional good. If we take UK architectural practice as an example it could be argued that there exists an exemplary practice-led research system, with internationally leading work being carried out. Much of the most innovative research in design and, particularly, technology is founded in practice. However, much of this research remains tacit; it is either, for commercial reasons, not shared with the rest of the community or else in its dissemination through the press is not communicated with the rigour it deserves. For the leading practices intellectual property is what defines them and sustains them, and they understandably are loath to give it away. Research goes on, but silently. The development of architectural knowledge happens but fitfully, and so the long-term sustainability of the profession is threatened. To avoid this, we need to make architecture speak.
This means finding a way to improve the communication of the research carried out in practice, but in a way that does not compromise the value of the individual practice’s intellectual property. This can be achieved in two ways. First there is a new role for academia to link up with practice in order to carry out an archaeology of the processes of architectural production, in a non-threatening but critical manner, critical here not being a negative term but one of reflection and comparison. By excavating the present one informs the future. Practice has the raw data on which architectural knowledge is founded; academia can release this potential through research. The focus here is not on the products of architecture, buildings, but on the processes, and by shifting the attention from the individual object to a comparative archaeology, one removes the pressure of the precious intellectual property. Secondly, funding for research has to shift from sliced areas of knowledge controlled by various sectors of academia, to a more coherent strategy shared by both academics and practitioners. As a recent CABE report convincingly argues, much more work needs to be done at a strategic and governmental level to encourage funding across departments and across research councils in order to reflect the real needs for research into the built environment.iii Thirdly, money needs to be made available directly to practices in order to enable and (importantly) communicate primary research. The funding by the UK Department for Education and Science’s of the Exemplary Schools research project is one isolated example of money being productively released into practice

As we have seen, the stretching of architecture across separate areas of knowledge does not address the particular need for architectural knowledge and practice to be integrative across epistemological boundaries. Buildings as physical products function in a number of independent but interactive ways – they are structural entities, they act as environmental modifiers, they function socially, culturally and conomically. Each of these types of function can be analysed separately but the built form itself unifies and brings them together in such a way that they interact. Research into architecture thus has to be conscious of these interactions across traditionally separate intellectual fields.
J.Till. (2008). Three Myths and a Model. RIBA.

one has to understand that architecture has its own particular knowledge base and procedures. [….]
The normal stretching of the field of architecture along the arts to science line (with the social sciences somewhere in the middle) results in each place along the line being researched according to a particular paradigm and methodology from the research spectrum. This ignores design, which is clearly an essential feature of architectural production; design cannot be so easily categorised as a qualitative or quantitative activity, but should be seen as one that synthesizes a range of intellectual approaches. Architectural research is better described by Christopher Frayling’s oft-cited triad of research ‘into’, ‘for’ and ‘through’. Frayling developed this approach for design research in order to address the specific relationship between design and research. In this model, research ‘into’ takes architecture as its subject matter, for instance in historical research, or explanatory studies of building performance. Research ‘for ’ refers to specifically aimed at future applications, including the development of new materials, typologies and technologies; it is often driven by the perceived needs of the sector. Research ‘through’ uses architectural design and production as a part of the research methodology itself.
Till,J. (2008). Three Myths and a Model. RIBA.

Spatial intelligence is one of man’s most underrated human capabilities. The result of millions of years of evolution, it enables us to navigate our way through our daily lives. It is less consciously applied than linguistic, mathematical, kinetic, natural, musical or personal intelligence. Despite architecture’s dependence on spatial knowledge and experience, the discipline remains bereft of a theoretical underpinning. Understanding and knowledge of space is only pursued through precedent and challenged with experience, but the role of every individual’s history in space, the unfolding and developing of their spatial intelligence is largely unaccounted for. This book argues for a greater continuüm between our spatial intelligence and the built environment, and thus a greater connection between architecture and everyday life. Providing an overview of spatial intelligence as a human capability, this book aIso acknowledges how widespread recognition of it in architectural education and the profession should enable the demystification of the practice of design, forming the basis of a more democratic interface between society and practice. Ultimately, it suggests how spatial intelligence might provide exciting new opportunities for practice in the linking of real and virtual environments in the information age.
Van Schaik, L. (2008). Spatial intelligence : new futures for architecture. Chichester, Englnd ; Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Back cover.

spatial intelligence by eaae JDWeaae JDW, 07 Jun 2011 20:15

Research into art and design : the most straightforward research practice in art, design and architecture. This is historical, social, technical, material research, with countless models from which it derive its rules and procedures.

Research through design (Research by design) : is a material based research, development work and action research, practical experiments in laboratories resulting in reports and step by step diary, clear about what is being achieved and communicated through the activity of design process.

Research for art and design : is development work, which end product is an artefact, where the thinking is embodied in the artefact and the goal is not primarily communicable knowledge in the sense of verbal communication.

In a discussion with Werner Oechslin about the criteria of significance, originality, rigor and transparency, frowning his brows, he raised some objection to the use of the concept of "transparency". (Probably due to the physical characteristic of transparant objects pretending to be the equivalent of "nothing"?)

For this sake, I was checking wikipedia on "transparency". It summarizes interpretations of the word "transparency" in humanities, government, and business:
Transparency (behavior), a metaphor implying visibility in contexts related to the behavior of individuals or groups
Transparency (linguistic), a term used in linguistics and the philosophy of language
Transparency (market), a term in economics
Transparency (philosophy), an adjective applied to a state in which the subject can be aware of being in that state
Transparency (social), the social value of access to information held by centers of authority
Transparency (trade), the formal principle of the WTO that a country’s policies and regulations affecting foreign trade should be clearly communicated to its trading partners.

In some discussions on validating artistic research I met the concepts of "accessibility", "communicability", "conveyability", "communicativability", … instead of "transparency"? Or do we mean something different? (the characteristic of the process to be accessible, to allow itself to open up, to unclose, to reveal, …

on "transparency" by eaae JDWeaae JDW, 03 Jun 2011 09:57

In accordance with David's concerns about the almost poetic, or pamphletwise, but boring repetion, I made some stylistic changes.

I also added a sentence : as one will remember we set up a list of quality indicators for research-by-design (Brussels, 18-19 march), which we afterwards (Lisbon 15 april) considered to be valid for architectural research as a whole, except the sentence about coherence of research results with experience in practice. This was a statement atypical for research-by-design, not for architectural research in general. Nevertheless it is a major characteristic and even a source of rigour for research by practice. So, in order not to let it disappear out of our discours, I added this specification of research-by-design in this paragrah of the framework, as you will have noticed.

//Research by design is any kind of inquiry in which design is a substantial part of the research process.

In research by design, the architectural design process forms a pathway through which new insights, knowledge, practices and products come into being.
It generates critical inquiry through design work that may include realized projects, proposals, possible realities and alternatives. Therefore research results typically are obtained by, and consistent with experience in practice.

Research by design produces forms of output and discourse proper to disciplinary practice, verbal and non-verbal, that make it discussable, accessible and useful to peers and others. It is validated through peer review by panels of experts who collectively cover the range of disciplinary competencies addressed by the work.

Research by design meets the general criteria of originality, significance, rigor and transparency.//

Re: Re-reading the text by eaae JDWeaae JDW, 03 Jun 2011 09:16

Research by Design suggests a practise
- where research may arise from design
- from the proposal, model or experiment, to the generalisation and rationalisation by consciously extracting rules about the object of the research process.
- producing new knowledge about the world, through the act of designing.

Research by Design concerns
- bringing in expressive and systematic tools in the research process
- the direct relationship between analysing and the proposing
- incorporating and developing the working method of architects – the searching spatial sketching in a specific material - in the environment of academic research.

Research by Design
- search for concordance between the methods of research and a form-giving, experimental design practice.
- suggests an agreement between architectural practice and research process and methodology
- produces knowledge through the architect’s tools and working methods
- investigates the research inquiry from the practitioner’s methods and acknowledges practise as a mean of gaining new knowledge.

should we also speak of
- architects
- other professionals (building industry, real estate business)
- cultural and humanitarian institutions and organizations
- public services
- professionals in related fields

pieter versteegh by pieter versteeghpieter versteegh, 30 May 2011 14:33

Architectural research involves the use of assessment criteria that are specific to their nature, forms, processes and outputs / outcomes. These need to be structured (which, in itself, constitutes another subject of research).
Among the possibilities we may find:
- the degree of exploration
- the degree of innovation and reorientation of subjects
- the degree of connection with teaching
- the degree of connection with practice
the degree of connection with economical partners
- events (exhibitions, seminars, workshops, lectures…)
- publications in the forms used within the profession (publications of teaching and research institutions, architectural magazines and press, or by publications addressing themselves to one of the target audiences)
- collaboration with international, high-level partners (Universities)

suggestions by pieter versteeghpieter versteegh, 30 May 2011 14:27

It is important to note that some architectural research does not meet characteristics of Objectivity, Reliability, Verifiability and Applicability!
RbD may include highly subjective / intuitive / exploratory characteristics;
its reliability and verifiability may be subject to further implementation without this being pejorative for the research
It may not be applicable without creative reiteration.

But this should maybe go under assessment criteria…

comments on outputs by pieter versteeghpieter versteegh, 30 May 2011 14:23

Goals are
the evolution of knowledge, understanding of and insight in architectural questions;
the evolution of practice;
the evolution of architectural education;
the genesis of subjects of research for architecture and other disciplines.

suggestions for 1C by pieter versteeghpieter versteegh, 30 May 2011 14:02

There are several modes of architectural research:

a) research by design : design as a process is the subject of research. It is linked to the central activity of architects: design (projet / Entwurf). It is conditioned by the fact that there are no determinist theories of which the design (projet / Entwurf) would be the application; the design (projet / Entwurf) itself is what connects/translates them. It is a development/extension/ innovation of architectural practices.

Such research uses the production logic (concepts, tools, and procedures) and validation system proper to the architectural domain.

The results are the processes of the research themselves. They may combine objective and subjective aspects. They may not be repeatable / directly applicable in practice unless they are creatively reiterated.

b) research in architecture: architectural research has as its object of study architecture itself. Research in architecture engages architectural insight. As such it uses validation systems proper to the architectural domain

The results are theoretical / historical material on existing architecture.

c) research on architecture : research has as its object of study architecture itself, belonging to peripheral disciplines: the natural sciences, engineering, technology, history, philosophy, sociology, psychology, anthropology, etc. Such forms of research use the production logic (concepts, tools, and methods) and validation system (criteria) proper to these disciplines. They may possess a partial understanding of architectural phenomena.

d) research connected to architecture (“in-between”) defines a transdisciplinary field as its object. Its formes are derived from the connected disciplines and vary. Production logic and validation sytems are hybrid. They oscillate between architectural and peridisciplinar understanding of phenomena

Architectural research perpetually oscillates between the fundamental level and the applied level. It never remains confined to one or another of the categories, which prove inadequate in this domain. When it modifies/innovates a specific aspect, it engages at the same time a globalizing understanding (applied towards fundamental). When it modifies/innovates a globalizing understanding, it does so by means of a specific intervention (fundamental towards applied). These two movements often occur in a repeated manner within one same process.

Architectural research emerges from and connects academic and practical work.

Architectural research requires a global or holistic understanding of architecture. It cannot be divided, for example, into theory / practice, design (projet / Entwurf) / construction / regional development. It is interested in the generally recognized practices, subjects, and themes of architecture.
Architecture is a creative discipline oriented towards practice. It is engaged, creative, reflexive practice.

Architecture manifests itself in a transdisciplinary environment; design (projet / Entwurf) as a method / process brings together the investigations, viewpoints, and suggestions of other domains. Architectural research helps one to experience in practice the plurality of paradigms.

Architectural research often requires a contextual (i.e., specific, localized, unique, etc.) approach. It comes very close to the definition of sustainable development, which combines social, economic, and environmental interaction. Architectural research is interested in ongoing processes of change.

This item is fine as a general statement of research ethics, but lacks two aspects as far as I'm concerned:

  1. specificity as regards architectural research
  2. "teeth" or a critical edge, in the sense that ethics can and should include checking to see that the research question is relevant and will likely bring important new knowledge to the discipline — in other words, it is not enough to be honest and open, but one must also be open to critical scrutiny, including and starting with one's own.
Architectural research by eaaeDVeaaeDV, 17 May 2011 09:29

This is a good text, in terms of content, but the form is awkward. Re-reading it two months after the Brussels meeting, I think it needs some editing to avoid the repetition in both sections. It seems to me that, for a first-time reader, seeing "Research by design" and then "The research" repeated so many times will discourage him or her from engaging with the text. That would be a pity.

Re-reading the text by eaaeDVeaaeDV, 17 May 2011 09:19

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.

Comments on the Esra Fidanoglu’s proposal “Thinking on a model for evaluation of architectural research materials” ,
Ferran Sagarra. Dean of ETSAB.

The publication and research evaluation existing model during the 20th century is facing new challenges in the 21st century because of the rise of the Internet and electronic publishing.
In the 20th century, and still now, scientific papers were published by scientific journals. The editors of the scientific journals asked to experts in a particular field (referees) to review the quality of the manuscripts received. This model based on peer review has clearly been a success. However, it has sometimes been criticized because of its anonymity and the suspicion of lack of neutrality, notwithstanding anonymity is the main strong point of the existing model.
In the 21st century electronic publishing and Internet are changing this monolithic model into a less defined one. Traditional peer review journals still exist but new models of publication and evaluation of research are emerging.
One of the most significant changes is the Open Access (OA) movement for which scholar literature must be available to the reader without barriers. This movement is supported by a wide range of institutions and universities that are now funding once for research instead of paying several times for the same scientific research (investment base, publishing fees and subscription of academic journals).
There are several OA options: full OA journals (DOAJ -, journals that have some articles in a “paid OA” option and there is also the chance to self-archive a paper in an institutional repository (such as UPCommons) or a thematic one (such as arXiv in Physics). Institutional repositories are strategic for most universities because it is the way to collect, disseminate and preserve all knowledge created within the institution.
In addition to this, web 2.0 is providing Internet with a huge amount of materials to be, legally, remixed and reused. Therefore, collaboration and participation in the Internet, tagging and the wisdom of crowds are basic concepts to understand this new digital era. As so for the documents, because from now on one digital document may have several versions and it is difficult to assure its invariability.
Nowadays, some other models apart from the traditional peer-review are emerging, for instance open peer-review or post-publication peer-review focusing in transparency and speed publication time.
Finally, we would like to stress the following points:
 While it is true that some materials that are not traditionally considered as being scientific are of interest for students and scholars, such as ‘learning objects’, it is also true that these kind of materials are usually stored and disseminated through learning repositories, for instance OpenCourseWareMIT < > and OpenCourseWare UPC < >.
 Nowadays, there is indeed a demand to review these materials which are not scholar articles although it is not clear which type of review may be suitable.
 The “EAAE website providing open access…” should be a thematic repository of architecture and related issues instead of a “website”, in which self-archive research papers, mostly in preprint versions as it happens in other subject areas. One of the most famous thematic repositories is ArXiv within Physics.
 Wikipedia is a general collaborative encyclopaedia and does not fit scientific discussion. Its veracity and scientific rigor mainly depends on the ‘wisdom of crowds’. On the other hand, wikis as tools (and not particularly Wikipedia) are used successfully for collaboration online.
 One of the best ways to contribute to the Open Access (OA) movement is to encourage institutions to support OA and to raise awareness about it to researchers and to all scientific community.
 A great number of universities have already adopt OA mandates for the purpose of open dissemination of scholar publications in institutional repositories which constitutes the most efficient policy regarding OA in universities and academic institutions.
 Moreover, new laws and projects are giving an increasing legal support to these actions (for example, OpenAIRE project < > and, in Spain, the recently updated PhD Real Decreto 99/2011
< >.
 As a conclusion, we suggest EAAE to encourage its members to adopt these policies to preserve and disseminate, at a global scale, their scientific production.

BOLDT, A. Extending ArXiv.Org to Achieve Open Peer Review and Publishing. Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 2011, vol. 42, no. 2. pp. 238-242.
KELTY, C. M.; BURRUS, C. S.and BARANIUK, R. G. Peer Review Anew: Three Principles and a Case Study in Postpublication Quality Assurance. Proceedings of the IEEE, 2008, vol. 96, no. 6. pp. 1000-1011.
PÖSCHL, U. Interactive Open Access Publishing and Public Peer Review: The Effectiveness of Transparency and Self-Regulation in Scientific Quality Assurance. IFLA Journal, 2010, vol. 36, no. 1. pp. 40-46.
PÖSCHL, U. Interactive Open Access Publishing and Peer Review: The Effectiveness and Perspectives of Transparency and Self-Regulation in Scientific Communication and Evaluation. LIBER Quarterly, 2010, vol. 19, no. 3-4. pp. 293-314.
Seminar for Open Access to Science Information: policies for development of AO in Southern Europe. [Accessed: 16-03-2011].

Outcomes of research in Architecture could range from Policy to project, methodology to models, techniques to technology, and theories to hypotheses. Whatever the outcome would be, it would carry the characteristics of Objectivity, Reliability, Verifiability and Applicability. All outputs include written argumentation attaching to preceding knowledge, relevant to the scientific community.

Aulikki Herneoja - Jan 2011 by eaae JDWeaae JDW, 05 Apr 2011 09:24

Assessment criteria for research manuscript

  • Has the researcher stated clearly the epistemological and ontological position/approach of her/his research?
  • Research manuscript should be evaluated from the same position that researcher has stated.
  • Does the re searcher know relevant literature for the subject matter?
  • Is the research conceptually and methodologically efficient?
  • Are the objectives, hypotheses and methods clearly presented and logical?
  • Is the methodological choice reasonable?
  • Are the research methods and materials appropriate for the project?
  • Is the research input suitable for research questions and is the input employed well?
  • Does the research manuscript have structural or linguistic problems or problems in its content?
  • Is the length of the research manuscript appropriate?
  • Are the projects or other artistic material presented in the research well chosen and/or filling the high quality standards?
  • Are images and tables informative, and is the number of them appropriate?
  • What is the relevance/significance of processing the set research questions?

Scientific and/or artistic quality and innovativeness of the research:

  • Is the research scientifically and/or artistically significant?
  • What is the importance of the results for the research sector?
  • What is the importance of the results for the field of practice?
  • Is the research scientifically and/or artistically innovative?
  • Is the research scientifically and/or artistically ambitious?
  • Does the research generate new knowledge, new methods, new technology or new design practices?
Aulikki Herneoja - Jan 2011 by eaae JDWeaae JDW, 05 Apr 2011 09:19

The EMU text that I received is as follows:
Academics, who are contributing for the benefit of different social interest groups through their research activities in the academia; professionals, who have the possibility to participate in further education, where new information is exchanged for their professional development; decision makers/ Legal Authorities, who prepare laws and regulations for the implementation of research outcomes for the interest groups of the society; students, who are learning the methodology of research and supporting the academics; users, who would be realising the research outcomes for their own benefits; other researchers, both from Architecture and other disciplines, would be target groups of Research in Architecture."

The foregoing text seems reasonable, except for the fact that it seems mostly to consider these groups as individuals rather than in the context of their institutional frameworks. Thus, for the words in italics, I would think it better to speak of "Universities" instead of "Academics", "Professional bodies" instead of "Professionals", "States/Regions/Cities" instead of "decision makers / legal Authorities", "Schools" instead of "Students", etc. The phrase about "users" is a bit vague, and it might be better to detail who might be the different groups of "users" to be considered. And the mention of "other researchers" is somewhat ambiguous, I would prefer something like "research groups and laboratories both within and beyond the domain of architecture". Of course, all of these propositions are conditioned by the necessity to go through the filters of various European understandings of English terminology.

David Vanderburgh - Jan 2011 by eaae JDWeaae JDW, 05 Apr 2011 09:12
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