In 1973, following the strikes that beset the British construction industry during the early 1970s, Alistair McAlpine commissioned a design program for his construction company, Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons, that aimed to increase production efficiency and improve labour relations. Cedric Price’s proposal took the format of a two-volume report and a Portable Enclosures Programme (PEP) which, while presenting a critical view of building sites, also demonstrated his ambition to go beyond the immediate brief, employing architectural knowledge and thoughtful design to respond to pressing societal issues and human necessities.
The project emphasizes “the social role and responsibility of the architect by rethinking traditional field practices and pursuing strategies to initiate social progress through critical research, new tools and experimental attitudes” (Domus, 2017). The designer becomes the moderator of social activity (Herdt, 2016).
To qualify labour on building sites, Price acknowledged the need to reframe the relations between the multiple actors involved, from government to service suppliers, from technical staff to workers’ unions. He often stressed the importance of communicating to everyone, from the workers to the administrative personnel, the purposes and goals of the report, introducing “a participatory form of Company planning” and resisting the tendency for decision making to be “too top heavy.”
energy efficient high-tech, low-tech, or vernacular strategies
health, well-being, and quality of life issues
an analogy to natural forms or from processes in natural systems
performance over appearance
appearance over performance
intelligent and responsive materials, renewable, recyclable, biodegradable
resilience and circular economy
not building at all and instead promote virtualization
ecological footprinting and consumerist lifestyles
best practice guidelines, assessment methods
All above-mentioned concepts are context-specific and inevitably contested. Enacting and translating sustainability in arch design practices can occur in different stages of the design/build process:
during the design brief phase that defines the sustainability targets: translating the concept of sustainability into design practices, recognizing the controversial issues to tackle/ those is in charge of giving directions should ask those bidding to work on giving meaning to these goals
when analyzing the ways in which design strategies are constructed between the distinct vocational design actors
when establishing supposed equivalences between projected and actual design
Schröder, T. (2018). Giving meaning to the concept of sustainability in architectural design practices: Setting out the analytical framework of translation. Sustainability, 10(6), 1-15. . DOI: 10.3390/su10061710
The author claims the need of a systematic approach “that brings together the design of built environments with the best scientific knowledge of processes of change in complex natural and social systems.” Urban planning must work within these systems that require local info (through participatory practices) and the creation of technical solutions. He thinks the challenge is mapping informality as cities grow in unpredictable ways. He also claims that cities are about connections: “the socioeconomic and physical links that allow each one of us to make a living, obtain services that make our lives easier, and learn and invest our time and resources.”
The effects of connections can be traced as the concentration of social networks in space and time where the value of a group is not proportional to the group’s numbers, but to its interactions. GPS tracking, and smart phone technologies can help track the networks.
New methods from urban science allow the accelerated evolution of these neighborhoods to follow natural urban processes. They are based in part on the mathematical analysis of detailed maps, including the development of algorithms to optimize building access, delivery of services, formalization of land, and taxation, with minimal disturbance and cost.
Planning through the development of detailed maps at the neighborhood level is also an effective way to capture local, person-centric knowledge, providing a clear vehicle for better local politics via the coordination of priorities and action from communities, local governments, and other stakeholders. The convergence of a networked science of cities, quantitative methods of spatial analysis, and information technology tools is key to allow users to participate.
Luís M. A. Bettencourt (2019) Designing for Complexity: The Challenge to Spatial Design from Sustainable Human Development in Cities Technology|Architecture + Design, 3:1, 24-32, DOI: 10.1080/24751448.2019.1571793
mechanistic model: the human as a task-oriented organism, understood and described only in relation to the task at hand/ human as a passive agent merely enacting the designer’s plan of use and having no agency
perceptual-cognitive-motivational model: the human as an ‘internal processing organism’ with subjective traits
behaviorist model: this focused on external human actions in the environment instead of internal thoughts and feelings and intentions. (it does not identify however with Skinner’s operant psychology)/ Altman classifies here all action-centric and interactionalist descriptions of human engagements with the environment without excluding intentions and motivational states
ecological model: declared human behavior and environment a mutually constituting, dynamic ensemble/ Behavior itself, in other words, resided in the relation between the human and social and material contexts/ this model promoted an agentive understanding of the human/ Altman also emphasized its model’s utility for establishing a common ground among social scientists and designers thus cultivating the conditions of interdisciplinary collaboration/ it offered a reconciliatory mechanism between the unit and the whole, the small and the large scale, analysis and synthesis, thus urging scientists and practitioners to “surpass the provincialism of their parent professions”
Vardouli, Th., 2016. User Design: Constructions of the “user” in the history of design research. In 2016 Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference, 27-30 June 2016, Brighton, UK
Clinical_FOR DESIGN RESEARCH: focuses on design problems that are specific and individual cases requiring information for that unique situation/ primarily prescriptive research methods for specific and feasible design solutions (Downton)/ Notably, research for design is the category of research that most practitioners and many academics associate with the term “Design Research”/ Many of the methods briefly mentioned in this section could generate findings that are relevant beyond the scope of one clinical situation, but often they are inadequately developed in practice.
Applied_THROUGH DESIGN RESEARCH: focuses on investigating general classes of design problems or products. The common trait of applied research is the [systematic] attempt to gather from many individual cases a hypothesis or several hypotheses that may explain how a class of products takes place/ The most important aspect of research through design is that it seeks to provide an explanation or theory within a broader context/ Buchanan calls it Dialectic Science or Productive Science and includes the study of form and function in relation to human activity, as well as the study of materials/ it is derived from and valuable for practice; it is growing rapidly; both practitioners and researchers are contributing significantly to the literature and on-line discussions; the discussion is extensive, addressing hundreds of approaches; and much of the subject matter has been derived from the social sciences, business, and marketing/ In her evolving map of design research methods, Sanders represents the range of attitudes towards human-oriented design, from the expert mindset and the participatory mindset, in both research-led and design-led inquiries/
Basic_ABOUT DESIGN RESEARCH: research about or into design as the work that is “carried out under the heading of other disciplines/ searching for “an explanation in the experience of designers and those who use products”/ designers may also raise questions that are not characteristic of other disciplines because often the answers are translated into form, colour, and the objects that surround us. This affords practitioners, students, and educators with the challenge to produce discipline specific knowledge that may be communicated by drawings, sketches, models, and other visual representations embodying non-verbal codes or messages as well
Frankel, L., Racine, M., 2010. The Complex Field of Research: for Design, through Design, and about Design. Paper presented at the International Conference of the Design Research Society, Montréal, July 2010.
Roggema merges the understandings of Jonas, Millburn & Brown, Hauberg, Basballe & Halskov and Lima et al. to produce a series of diagrams indicative of the research by design process:
According to Jonas there is a fundamental distinction between analysis(the way things are)/ projection (how things could be)/ synthesis (how things will be)
According to Millburn & Brown there are five models that explain distinct approaches of incorporating research into design: artistic, intuitive, adaptive, analytical and systematic. They all have a pre-design phase that resembles the analytical one mentioned earlier.
According to Lima et al. research by design should demonstrate a question to be addressed. Projection then becomes the phase when adequate answers are sought using non-textual artifacts. The final stage synthesis brings forward the outcomes of the research, but also a knowledge transfer with a wider impact
According to Hauberg, first stage focuses on perceptions and investigation; second phase to program/proposals and rationalization and the third phase to communication.
According to Basballe and Halskov there is a coupling in the first stage that unites research and design interests/ in the second there is an interweaving as they influence each other/ decoupling appears during the production phase and final evaluation
make research-based learning the standard: learning is based on discovery guided by mentoring rather than on the transmission of information/ inherent in inquiry-based learning is an element of reciprocity: faculty can learn from students as students are learning from faculty/ Involving Undergraduates in the Research Process/ A Mentor for Every Student/ Internships
construct an inquiry-based freshman year: The first year of a university experience needs to provide new stimulation for intellectual growth and a firm grounding in inquiry-based learning and communication of information and ideas/ Seminar Learning/ Block Scheduling/ Remediation Before Admission
build on freshman foundation: The freshman experience must be consolidated by extending its principles into the following years. Inquiry-based learning, collaborative experience, writing and speaking expectations need to characterize the whole of a research university education/ Long-term Mentorship/ Integrating Transfer Students
remove barriers to interdisciplinary education/ Breaking the Disciplinary Molds
link communication skills and course work: Undergraduate education must enable students to acquire strong communication skills, and thereby create graduates who are proficient in both written and oral communication/ Communication in Every Course
use information technology creatively: Because research universities create technological innovations, their students should have the best opportunities to learn state-of-the-art practices—and learn to ask questions that stretch the uses of the technology/ The Electronic Classroom/ Enriching Teaching Through Technology
culminate with a capstone experience: The final semester(s) should focus on a major project and utilize to the fullest the research and communication skills learned in the previous semesters.
educate graduate students as apprentice teachers: Research universities must redesign graduate education to prepare students for teaching undergraduate students as well as for other professional roles/ Reshaping Professional Training/ Restoring Communication/ Solving the Teaching Crisis
change faculty reward systems: Research universities must commit themselves to the highest standards in teaching as well as research and create faculty reward structures that validate that commitment/ Synergy of Teaching and Research/ Evaluating Teaching
cultivate a sense of community: Research universities should foster a community of learners. Large universities must find ways to create a sense of place and to help
students develop small communities within the larger whole/ Diversity as an Asset/ Linking Commuters and Residents
Building Community Report goals (1996):
an enriched mission: whereby students are empowered with a duty to promote a wider agenda of beauty in support of an enriched environment and society
diversity with dignity: promoting inclusive, varied, accessible and creative educational environments
standards without standardization: maintaining diversity in provision and offer while maintaining rigorous, fair and open professional and educational standards
connected curriculum: fusing the scholarships of teaching, inquiry and engagement with other communities within and outside the academy and the profession
climate for learning: providing learning communities, which are supportive, transparent and sharing of common purposes between students, academics, support staff and professionals
unified profession: seeking closer collaboration and understanding between the academy and the architectural profession
service to the nation: establishing an ethical and socially activist agenda in architectural education for the betterment of society and the environment.
Boyer 1996: Four forms of scholarship: of Discovery/ of Integration/ of Application/ of Teaching
Glassick et al. 1997, SIX QUALITATIVE STANDARDS FOR THE IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT OF SCHOLARSHIP: Clear Goals/ Adequate Preparation/ Appropriate Methods/ Significant results/ Effective Presentation/ Reflective Critique
SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) : movement that was developed to encourage critically reflective inquiry into educational methods and theories for the promotion of successful students learning/ philosophical shift from teaching to learning/
Teaching Commons: an academic space whereby ‘communities of educators committed to pedagogical inquiry and innovation come together to exchange ideas about teaching and learning and use them to meet the challenges of educating students for personal, professional, and civic life (Huber and Hutchings, 2005)/ the title has been imbued with contemporary resonance with the rise of Creative Commons