Integrated networks of knowledge in architectural practice: Research as strategic tools for design and work culture of White Architects
Book chapter, 2016
This chapter presents some of the research initiatives at the Swedish office White arkitekter, the largest architectural firm in Scandinavia, established in 1951. The firm has a long tradition of working with issues of research and development, but during the last years there have been intensified efforts to develop more coordinated research and collaborations, and to also integrate it closer into everyday work and creative practice.
The intention is to describe the background to the current developments, elaborate on some notions of research used within the firm, and present efforts to set up a distributed research laboratory environment including practice-based doctoral projects working part-time in architectural projects. The research activities have become more closely connected to architectural design projects, and by that also been used to meet the contemporary challenges through design thinking as well as the specific knowledge generated in the practice of the field.
Research has more and more become a strategic tool in architectural practice. At White, research has more consciously been used to produce needed knowledge, but also to develop architectural design as well as the firm itself. Last years’ more conscious integrations of research and practice can be seen as ways of how research with designerly and experimental approaches can develop contemporary architectural practice to meet current and future challenges in built environments and architecture.