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ARbD 2014 : ARbD’14 - Fourth International Conference on Architectural Research by Design: Unifying Academia and Practice through Research


When May 8, 2014 - May 9, 2014
Where Lusófona University, Lisbon - Portugal
Submission Deadline Mar 14, 2014
Notification Due Mar 21, 2014
Final Version Due Apr 18, 2014
Categories    research   architecture

Call For Papers


The 1st TU Delft – ARENA architectural research meeting was held in November 2014 on the subject of “investigating mature research approaches in relation to existing paradigms of architectural research and design”.
Now the Architectural Department (DARQ) of the School of Communication, Architecture, Arts and Information Technologies (ECATI) at Lusófona University (ULHT) ¬-- with the intensive collaboration of the Architectural Lab. Research Center (LabART), and in partnership with the Architectural Research in Europe Network Association (ARENA) -- will host the Fourth International Conference on Architectural Research by Design, seeking to reflect on the interactions between academia and practice through the concept of Research by Design. Beside the implicit research and the continuation of a research project (Architectural Research Framework) started in 2010 in LabART, the ultimate aim is to prepare a Doctoral Program in Architecture, Art and Information Technologies in which Research by Design will be the core methodology.
In terms of the general concept of architectural research, this conference adopts the definition given in the EAAE Research Charter (2012), which we helped to develop: “Architectural research is original investigation undertaken in order to generate knowledge, insights and understanding based on competences, methods and tolls proper to the discipline of architecture. It has its own particular knowledge base, mode, scope, tactics and strategies.” And in turn, research by design is defined as “any kind of inquiry in which (…) architectural design process forms the pathway through which new insights, knowledge, practices or products come into being. It generates critical inquiry through design work.”
Research by design is a broader concept that includes “practice-based research” and “practice-led research” (Candy, 2006), which means that we are talking about two kinds of methodologies of research: one involves research through practice and the other involves research about practice. The difference is methodological, because one is research where the inquiry is about the processes of design conception while the other is research about something that does not yet exist and which uses architectural practice as the research method.
According to this conception, and in light of the Dublin Descriptors (2004) for the Third Cycle , we consider that there are four main subjects to be discussed and defined at this conference:

Theme I
- Architectural knowledge: What kinds of knowledge are we talking about when we consider research by design? Is it insight specific to architectural knowledge, or is it about method?

Theme II
- Transparent processes of inquiry: What is the “process of inquiry” in architectural practice? In what way can we talk about a research process that is based on the design process? And in what way can we use the notion of transparency in relation to research by design? Is it possible to demonstrate the value of research by design? How can we promote research by design as an important methodology for spatial design and the creation of public space?

Theme III
Communication and notation
- What kind of modes of communication should be considered to be adequate to the scientific community? Architectural practice uses different types of notation, mainly drawings and physical models, and nowadays a range of digital media, for communicating to the various agents within the architectural industry, whereas ‘classical’ academic research tends to use mainly verbal forms of communication. What type of notations can be used, and what kind of weight should be given to each type, in architectural research by design?
- How can we communicate the creative process? Is it even possible to do so? Or should we assume that in research by design only the more descriptive part of research can be explicitly communicated?

Theme IV
Evaluation and assessment
- How can we evaluate data and outcomes in the context of research by design? Should originality, significance and rigour be the same in architectural practice as it is within research? Who should make the assessment? Should recognized practicing architects, with no academic positions, be appointed as members in the assessment process? Should relevance for practice, theoretical and procedural consistency, transparency of the processes and outcomes, inter-disciplinarity and trans-disciplinarity, engagement with architectural competences and experiences, be included as part of the assessment?
- Should ‘impact’ on society be a measure? It is in the nature of research by design that it should be useful and have more engagement with the world outside academia?
- Also, what can we learn about research by design from other fields where it is more developed, such as in industrial design?

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