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.”
We consider that there are four main subjects to be discussed and defined at this conference:
- 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?
- 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?
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?
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?
We are looking for proposals for papers of a maximum of 20 minutes in length (c.3000 words) and which address any one of the above issues, or else bring some of the different issues together.
In order to make our selection of papers, please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words and which contain no more than 2 jpeg images. All abstracts must also include the presenter's name, institutional or practice affiliation, email and postal address, together with the title of the paper and a short biographical note about the presenter.
Abstracts should be sent to João Sequeira at firstname.lastname@example.org and arrive no later than
Friday 7th March 2014.
Notification of abstract acceptance due:
14th March 2014
Final paper submission due:
18th April 2014
Lusófona University - Architectural Department
Campo Grande, 376, 1749 - 024 Lisbon – Portugal
tel: (+351) 217 515 500 (ext. 2404)
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