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Design Research in Architecture

English title Design Research in Architecture
Applicant Ursprung Philip
Number 172843
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution ETH Wohnforum Departement Architektur ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Sociology
Start/End 01.06.2017 - 30.11.2021
Approved amount 835'830.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Sociology
Architecture and Social urban science

Keywords (4)

Design research; academisation; architecture; epistemic cultures

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Entwurfsforschung in der Architektur
Lay summary

Universitäten werden zunehmend nach ökonomischen Kriterien geführt. Dies hat zur Folge, dass von den Fachgebieten erwartet wird, unabhängig von individuellen Entwicklungen und Traditionen, übergreifend messbare Leistungen zu erbringen. Solche Leistungen umfassen in der Wissenschaft neben der Lehre insbesondere die Forschung und darin in der Regel Publikationen in Fachzeitschriften sowie Einwerben von Drittmitteln prestigeträchtiger Forschungsförderungsinstitutionen.

Unser Projekt geht von der Hypothese aus, dass diese Entwicklungen anwendungsorientierte Fachgebiete wie die Architektur besonders treffen. Traditionellerweise hat die Architektur Praktiker_innen ausgebildet und die Forschung an Nebendisziplinen wie Kunstgeschichte und Architekturtheorie, aber auch Stadtsoziologie, Statik, Materialwissenschaften etc. ausgegliedert. Durch die aktuellen wissenschaftspolitischen Entwicklungen gerät zunehmend auch der Kern der Ausbildung, die Entwurfspraxis in den Fokus von Forschungsdiskursen.

Das Ziel unseres Projektes liegt darin, an ausgewählten Architekturdepartementen in verschiedenen nationalen und ausbildungsorientierten Kontexten (in Deutschland, Skandinavien und Australien) zu untersuchen, wie Entwurfsforschung praktiziert, diskutiert und in der Lehre vermittelt wird. Dabei möchten wir aufzeigen, wie diese Diskurse die Selbstwahrnehmung der Architektur als Fachdisziplin prägen und wie die Entwurfsforschung in Wechselwirkung zwischen wissenschaftspolitischem Zeitgeist und personellen Konstellationen an den jeweiligen Departementen umgesetzt und vermittelt wird.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 10.04.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
Architecture Schools and Their Relationship with Research: It’s Complicated
Silberberger Jan (2021), Architecture Schools and Their Relationship with Research: It’s Complicated, in Dimensions, 1(1), 77-84.
Against and for Method: Revisiting Architectural Design as Research
Silberberger Jan (ed.) (2021), Against and for Method: Revisiting Architectural Design as Research, gta Verlag, Zürich.
Contemporary Studio Teaching in Europe: Towards a Theoretical Framework
HelmersenKim (2021), Contemporary Studio Teaching in Europe: Towards a Theoretical Framework, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 142-169.
Design, Context, and Profession: Three Research Cultures in Architecture
KurathMonika (2021), Design, Context, and Profession: Three Research Cultures in Architecture, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 18-38.
I'm Not a Rationalist but I Like Logic: An interview with Momoyo Kaijima
SilberbergerJan (2021), I'm Not a Rationalist but I Like Logic: An interview with Momoyo Kaijima, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 255-261.
Introduction
SilberbergerJan (2021), Introduction, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 1-16.
Objectivity and Rationality Without Neglecting the Subjective: An interview with Elli Mosayebi
SilberbergerJan (2021), Objectivity and Rationality Without Neglecting the Subjective: An interview with Elli Mosayebi, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 246-254.
Oriented Towards Transparency and Comprehensibility: An interview with Dietmar Eberle
SilberbergerJan (2021), Oriented Towards Transparency and Comprehensibility: An interview with Dietmar Eberle, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 236-245.
Referencing in Architectural Design
SilberbergerJan (2021), Referencing in Architectural Design, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 187-204.
Reimagining the Crit
SilberbergerJan (2021), Reimagining the Crit, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 224-234.
Tacit Knowledge and the Politics of Architectural Design Research
BöhmBernhard (2021), Tacit Knowledge and the Politics of Architectural Design Research, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 66-85.
Teaching from the Head Rather Than from the Belly: An interview with Adam Caruso
SilberbergerJan (2021), Teaching from the Head Rather Than from the Belly: An interview with Adam Caruso, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 262-271.
You Have to Know When to Stop: An interview with Anne Lacaton
SilberbergerJan (2021), You Have to Know When to Stop: An interview with Anne Lacaton, in Silberberger Jan (ed.), gta Verlag, Zürich, 272-281.
Public Crits in Architectural Design Education: Some critical reflections
SilberbergerJan (2020), Public Crits in Architectural Design Education: Some critical reflections, in Charrette, 6(2), 95-105.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Less Talk / More Action: Conscious Shifts in Architectural Education Talk given at a conference Playing the City: Towards an ANT-approach in the urban design studio 13.09.2019 Stanford University, United States of America Helmersen Kim Nørgaard;
Research Perspectives in Architecture Talk given at a conference Let’s be honest: How much reflection is there in architectural design – and what kind of reflection is that? 04.07.2019 Technical University of Munich, Germany Silberberger Jan;
Practice of Teaching / Teaching of Practice: The Teacher’s Hunch Talk given at a conference Working with Architectural References: Deformation as Lawful Inscription of Knowledge 28.06.2019 University of Antwerp, Belgium Silberberger Jan;
Learning Through Practice, 5th International Conference of the Association of Architectural Educators Talk given at a conference The Design Studio: Some Critical Reflections 24.04.2019 University of Westminster, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Silberberger Jan;
CA2RE – Conference for Artistic and Architectural (Doctoral) Research Talk given at a conference Playing ‘Complexcity’: An assemblage study of urban transformation 13.04.2018 Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark Helmersen Kim Nørgaard;
Prozesse / Processes, 8th Design and Research in Architecture Symposium Talk given at a conference Knowledge Creation in Architectural Design: A case study 12.04.2018 Leibniz University Hannover, Germany Silberberger Jan;
Beyond Change: Questioning the role of design in times of global transformations Talk given at a conference Design as Motion: Introducing an ANT-inspired approach to urban design 08.03.2018 FHNW Academy of Art and Design Basel, Switzerland Helmersen Kim Nørgaard; Silberberger Jan;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Against Method? Architectural Design in Academia 13.12.2017 ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
143206 Ästhetische Praktiken nach Bologna: Architektur, Design und Kunst als epistemische Kulturen ’in the making’ 01.05.2013 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

In recent years, the role and character of research, its definition and evaluation has come into discussion within the academic field of architecture. This trend stands in a close relation to the economization, politicization and harmonization of higher education, described as ‘new governance of science’ (Braun & Merrien 1999), bringing about an increased research orientation within skill-oriented and practice-based disciplines. As a core skill of architecture, design particularly came into focus of such discussions.Against this background, the proposed project intends to examine selected leading architecture departments in different national and educational contexts (at universities in Scandinavia, Germany and Australia), each with a focus on and a distinct understanding of architectural research. It aims at studying how these framings shape the education of architects and everyday practices of architecture as epistemic culture (Knorr Cetina 1999). For this analysis, a qualitative ethnographic study, situated at the intersection of sociology of architecture and science and technology studies (STS) will be applied. This conduct will be based on approaches of laboratory studies (e.g. Latour & Woolgar 1979) and draw on the concept of epistemic cultures as developed by Knorr Cetina (1999). The project will start with a discourse ethnographic inventory (Keller 2011b; Knoblauch 2002) of documents relating to architectural research as produced by the analysed departments, that is, research publications of various kinds, PhD theses as well as documents concerning guiding principles, training concepts, and PhD programmes. Building on this, fieldwork will consist of ‘active interviews’ (Holstein & Gubrium 2004) with teaching assistants, professors and heads of departments regarding their research and the ways research is instituted within education. In addition, focused participant observations (Knoblauch 2005) will be conducted in selected design classes at the analysed institutions.Research and education in skill-oriented fields such as architecture is different from that of traditional ‘hard science’ research disciplines as regards the empirical, ontological and social dimension of knowledge production. Hence, an increased research orientation produces a variety of ambivalences and irritations within the academic field of architecture (Geiser 2008; Gerber et al. 2010; Gisler & Kurath 2015). The proposed project aims at investigating these tensions in order to contribute to better understand the specificities of genuine architectural research (Ammon & Froschauer 2013; Hauser, et al. 2011; Müller & Reichmann 2015). The proposed project follows three major goals:1.Analysing the understanding and practice of architectural research as conducted by the faculty at six selected architecture departments in Scandinavia, Germany and Australia.2.Studying the ways architectural design is taught at the different departments.3.Comparing the selected departments - not only among themselves, but also to the departments analysed within the responsible applicant’s two ongoing research projects (as will be mentioned below) - with regard to similarities and differences in their understanding, practice and teaching of architectural design.
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